Monrovia — Orange-Liberia has extended its sponsorship with the Liberia Football Association (LFA) for three years valued at nearly one million United States dollars (US$1 million).
Orange-Liberia acting Chief Executive Officer Diakalia Berte said they were happy to continue their commitment with the LFA by sponsoring the national league and national team, especially during Covid-19.
Berte said Orange strongly believes that there are better days ahead to enhance and improve the sponsorship.
Speaking at Orange headquarters on 21 October, Berte said: "Orange, as partners to the government, remains committed to providing quality services and products as well as giving back to our customers and to the people of Liberia in many different ways.
"I will like to leave you with these words. Some people want it to happen and some wish it will happen but Orange makes it happens."
LFA President Mustapha Raji thanked Orange for making the sponsorship to happen.
Raji said it takes a company that cares not just for its business but cares for the people, who are involved in the business.
He said Orange cares for its customers, those who use its services and also cares about giving back to Liberia.
"From our own experience, Orange has shown beyond our own expectations, especially when it comes to a period where Covid-19 hit Liberia and affected a lot of businesses around the world.
"Orange-Liberia, in the middle of Covid-19, provided US$97,500 to the Liberia Football Association as second payment for the sponsorship. During that period, the executive committee nullified the leagues [on 4 May].
"As other leagues were in dispute with sponsors and partners in terms of making refunds, CEO Mamadou Coulibaly and the board of Orange decided that, based on its own interest in terms of developing and building the capacity of Liberians, waived the US$97,500 as a means of supporting young Liberian club presidents to support their players through the funds that were provided," recalled Raji.
Raji pleaded with Deputy Sports Minister Andy Quamie, who represented government, to give Orange, Doxxbet, Aqualife, Petro Trade and Green Petroleum, who are investing in sports, tax breaks.
"I believe this will encourage them to provide more funding to our football development programs. I want to appreciate Orange CEO Mamadou Coulibaly, who showed love for Liberians and football by increasing the deal from US$195,000 to US$200,000," Raji emphasized.
The US$200,000 towards the Orange national league will be made in two installments of US$100,000 for the first and second phases.
Orange will also provide US$520 monthly credit to the mobile numbers of LFA employees and US$100 monthly credit to each executive committee member's mobile number.
There will be free internet and wifi connectivity for the secretariat of the LFA (10 megabytes), US$80,000 towards the national teamand US$15,000 to cover the printing of national team tickets.
Orange also provided L$2.5 million for the LFA awards program with a free text messaging and voting platform for the LFA awards.
The package also includes marketing and branding activities to be done by Orange like fans identifying themselves from random photos taken at games and posted on Orange Facebook page.
The signing ceremony was graced by LFA Vice Presidents Sekou Konneh and Wilmot Smith, Orange-Liberia director of governmental, legal and regulatory affairs and chief compliance officer Cllr. Supu Cole and Orange-Liberia chief marketing and communications officer Julien Paquier.