By Albert Akota
Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has unveiled the new logo, jerseys, team bus, technical team and the brand manual of Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin.
Unveiling the rebranded corporate identity of the state-owned football club in Benin, the governor said the move was to make the club a reference point in terms of standards and professionalism.
He said his administration was keen on reviving sports activities in the state to serve as an avenue to arrest youth restiveness and joblessness.
“Our role as a government is to revive our spirit of sportsmanship. We see sports as playing a significant role in uplifting the lives of our youths and giving them hope for a better country.
“We are going to be emphasising grassroots sports, especially with the design and contract to build a mini-stadium per local government councils having been done”.
The governor called on business operators in the state to support his administration in its bid to ensure that the state regains its place of pride in sports.
“We encourage organisations to set up sports arenas to get our young men and women active,’’ he said.
In his remarks at the occasion, the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, commended the Edo government for supporting sports and rebranding Bendel Insurance FC.
Pinnick however called on the state government to leverage corporate bodies for sponsorship in order to take sports to the height of self-funding and make it independent of government grants.
“A club should be privately run to ensure consistency. What your government has done is amazing. After this rebranding, I don’t think we need government because I have seen the passion people have for this club.
“I think you should develop your own cards. Silver and Premium cards and VIPs stand as a means of generating funds,’’ he suggested.
On his part, the Deputy Governor of Edo, Philip Shaibu, said Bendel Insurance FC is a mass movement.
“It has produced players such as Osaze Odemwingie, Austin Eguavoen, amongst others, who have represented the state both at national and international competitions.
“The club’s new logo, with the symbol of the late Queen Idiia, was chosen because the queen was a warrior and won battles.
“We are optimistic that the rebranded Bendel Insurance FC will be a force to contend with.
“We want to link the club with our cultural heritage. It represents who we are — people who are hard working, disciplined and aspirational,’’ he said.