The Basketball Africa League (BAL) announced on Monday that Flutterwave is among the companies that are sponsoring it in 2021. The league was inaugurated in 2019 and the first season was slated to start on March 13, 2020.
However, it was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. About a month ago, on March 29, the league officials shared that its first-ever season will start on May 16 through to May 30. On its list of sponsors are 9 companies from different countries.
The companies are Flutterwave, Nike, Air Jordan, Pepsi, Rwand Air, Wilson, New Fortress Energy, Hennessy and the French Development Agency (AFD). The Nike and Air Jordan brands are in the sporty footwear and apparels industry while Pepsi and Hennessy are beverage-producing companies.
Wilson is a sports equipment manufacturing company in America and New Fortress Energy specializes in the clean energy sector. The AFD is a french public financial institution that is active in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and other parts of the world.
Flutterwave and Rwand Air are the only African companies listed as sponsors. Rwand Air renders aviation services in Rwanda. Founded in 2016 by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Olugbenga Agboola, Flutterwave is the only tech company on the list.
Although teams from 32 African countries participated in the qualifying tournaments for the inaugural season, Nigeria and Rwanda are the only countries with a company on the sponsorship list for the season.
In a company statement, Flutterwave’s Chief Commercial Officer, Ifeoluwa Orioke, said, “As a lifelong basketball fan, I am excited that we are able to team up with the BAL as it tips off its inaugural season.”
The partnership between the recently-named Time Magazine’s most influential company and the BAL is a multi-year one which means that it continues beyond this season.
The League’s president, Amadou Gallo Fall acknowledged that technology “plays an important role in basketball and our ability to make our content and products accessible and convenient for fans to consume.”
According to him, the partnership also reflects BAL’s ambition to play a role in the industries that will shape Africa’s economic growth, facilitate entrepreneurship and strengthen the continent’s position on the global stage.