How Bet9ja Walks its “More than a Bet” Talk, Buoys Nigerian Entertainment Industry
Nigeria has the credit for the most populous black nation on the surface of the earth. Added to this, the country’s approximately 200million population has a median age of 17.9 years and half of the figure below 20. This shows a very dynamic, youthful population –part of the traits that place Nigeria ahead of most Western nations. The latter is described as aging while former (Nigeria) youthful.
This is no doubt the reason why Nigeria and its virile population, is the darling of most economic blocks of the world.
However, while these are seen as a huge advantage being the go-to-market, the country needs to harness the enormous potential inherent in this young and vibrant population as the government has often advocated while inviting organisations to put in place structures especially in the areas of sports, music, culture, education and youth development to get the best out of this often volatile part of the population and save the country from delinquencies such as drug addictions, emotional trauma and suicides to mention but a few.
To this end, development platforms aimed at taking care of youth’s social, cultural developmental needs are needed to bring out and crystallize the latent ideas and creative ingenuity of these young Nigerians, giving wings to the reverent “can-do” and “never say die” Nigerian spirit.
One such platform among many currently playing a huge role in creating and nurturing talents in the entertainment, music and allied industries in Nigeria, is the Multichoice’s Big Brother Naija reality show which recently rounded off its 5th run in Nigeria in association with Bet9ja.
Although it hasn’t been an altogether smooth sail for the BBNaija show in Nigeria, the show has had its fair share of dissenting voices. However, it is noteworthy that while the antagonists were allowed to have their say without being gagged, molested or victimized for holding such views, within the ambit of the law and freedom of association as enshrined in nation’s constitution, the platform, participants and supporters of the reality show were yet to be nailed for any wrongdoing. Their activities are within the ambit of the law and constitution of the land, and development-oriented.
So coming together for the 2019 edition, BBNaija and Bet9ja struck a cordial cord to do the needful, not only to create stars but also imbue in them traits to manage resources – human and materials. Speaking on the partnership, Senior Marketing Manager, Bet9ja, Mr. Olufemi Osobajo says: “Our sponsorship is to enhance and make participants achieve their dreams of becoming valuable players in the Nigeria entertainment industry”. This he reveals is part of Bet9ja’s strategy to contribute to improving Nigeria’s entertainment industry.
A lot of people really don’t have a good understanding of what Bet9ja does as a business; they, therefore, reduce it to gambling, confirms Osobajo, while emphasizing that the impact of sports betting is huge. This forms the basis for the company’s “More Than A Bet” campaign which is described as a call to action to empowering Nigerians, especially the youth.
In concrete economic terms, the company has created employment for over 40,000 Nigerians through agents across the country and contributing a fair share to reducing unemployment. It has also been a source of income generation to lots of people as many had won millions and had their fortune changed just with N100 tickets. “It has empowered economically and enabled quite a number to support themselves – live a better life and support people around them (families and friends)”
For Bet9ja, “More than a Bet” takes this further. “It goes beyond even our core Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by supporting more causes and contributing positively to the Nigeria economy” declares the Senior Marketing Manager.
For instance, Ex- BBnaija housemates who have featured in Nollywood movies and making strides in the entertainment industry include Tope Adenibuyan aka Teddy A, Cynthia Nwadiora also known as Ceec amongst others. But for the platform, these and their ilk may not have been known today!
To birth more Teddy As and CeeCs of this world, Bet9ja furthered enhanced the platform to and make participants achieve their dreams of becoming valuable players in the Nigeria entertainment industry.
So, after an intense 99-day drama and challenges in the BBNaija House with Bet9ja as key sponsor, Mercy Eke won the coveted prize – an SUV, N30million and contract and endorsement deals, with Mike Edwards as the first runner up. Bet9ja as the official sponsor of the reality show, more than ever before, challenged housemates’ strategic thinking, problem-solving skills and creativity.
A case in point is the Bet9ja Friday arena games. Games such as -“Bet9ja Marble challenge”; “Walk the Beam”; and “Ball-walk” – according to Osobajo, “were deliberately designed to help housemates understand strategy, methodical planning, precision skills and thinking out-of-the-box, all traits that will help them win in life after the reality show”.
“Our belief is that every housemate that was part of the “Pepper Dem Gang” edition irrespective of their position or eviction stage, has learned one or two things to help them achieve their dreams of being players in the entertainment industry or in other career paths they may choose”.
Corroborating the Bet9ja Senior Manager’s position, Isilomo and Avala, the first set of evictees of the show, aligned with the major sponsor’s “More than A Bet” pay-off line. For the two, “it’s beyond the show and the eviction”, as the duo asserted they were determined to press on in their new-found talents and callings in the entertainment industry.
In the final analysis of the Bet9ja arena games, Mike was declared the overall winner of the Arena Games. He was rewarded with N2million money prize courtesy of Bet9ja. “The Friday Night Arena Games is our strategic way to bring about many more winners” discloses Osobajo. Though the winner-takes-all concept is still strong, there is, however, no doubt, Bet9ja’s support has influenced the winning prizes. The basket now has room for segment winners to have something to fall back on.
While the curtain is drawn on the 2019 BBNaija sponsored by Bet9ja, the gaming company promises to continue to seek avenues in the entertainment industry, culture, and other aspects of life to empowering Nigerians”. Having demonstratively put its money where its mouth is, there is no doubt that Bet9ja is in this for the long haul, promises Osobajo, all things being equal like the economists would say.