Yakubu Ayegbeni: The importance of finding the right brand to promote

Brand ambassadors provide companies with the opportunity to promote their brand using a recognisable face while also utilising that star to gain a wider reach.

However, it is important for both the brand and the ambassador that the role benefits each party in order for the entities to work together and create a positive marketing campaign.

At the SBC Digital Summit Africa, SBC’s Managing Director Andrew McCarron interviewed Premier League legend Yakubu Ayegbeni regarding his new role as Interwetten’s ambassador and why he believes that the gambling firm is the correct fit.

Yakubu stated: “For me to choose to work with Interwetten, they are reliable. I’ve checked their record, their record is clear. Just like me, my record is clear. They have been there for 30 years, I’m happy to be with them as an ambassador, to promote the business and the company, I think there is nothing to worry about. 

“I wish them the best of luck for whatever they wish to do in Nigeria and all around the world. I know it has not been easy with this Covid stuff, I hope we will get our lives back.”

The former Everton player also discussed the growing sports betting industry in Nigeria and how the country’s love for football highlights how much of a blooming market it is. 

He detailed: “I remember when I came to Nigeria, I went downstairs to my kitchen, I saw my cook, he was on his phone, I was like ‘what are you doing?’ He explains it’s not a game, he’s betting, football. Everyone in Nigeria loves football, they all love to do stuff like that you know.

“Hopefully next year we can go over there to meet the Nigeria people. Planning to have small games to bring people together. To play and to enjoy it is all about giving back to these people. They want to see people who are doing this stuff. It would be great to go back there with small games and for them to listen to Interwetten to make sports betting bigger and bigger in Nigeria.”

Yakubu’s decorated career saw the former striker enjoy spells at Blackburn Rovers, Everton, Leicester City, Middlesbrough, Portsmouth, Super Eagles, as well as clubs in China and Turkey. 

Reflecting on his career, Yakubu spoke particularly about his move from Nigeria to Israel to play for Maccabi Haifa, stating how challenging the move was due to the lack of team members who spoke English: “It was quite tough when you come into a dressing room and no one speaks English, it’s so difficult to communicate. When it comes to football I tried quick to learn how to  say ‘pass the ball to me’, ‘leave the ball to me’, small details about communication on the pitch then you’ll be fine. 

“When you go to a foreign country where they don’t speak the language, you need to understand the small details on the pitch, when you understand the small details on the pitch, you’ll be fine.”

In the interview Yakubu also talked of his time at Portsmouth and his relationship with the then manager, Harry Redknapp: “Moving from there (Maccabi Haifa) to Portsmouth it was unbelievable. To play for one of the best leagues in the world, that was a dream. I’m speaking to you now, I miss Portsmouth already.”

“Harry is still one of the best managers I have ever worked with. We still speak sometimes, a sentence, a message. He’s a great guy, Harry made you believe you can become a bigger player. I remember when we played against Arsenal and he said don’t worry just go there and destroy them, I’m telling you. With 10% more from him, he gives you more confidence.” 

You can watch the full interview here.

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