In the last two weeks, Bukola Olopade has made the headline for the right reasons. He has climbed the podium of history as the first sports administrator in a long while that threatened to resign and kept to his words.
For that singular reason, the former commissioner of Sports in Ogun state has turned the beautiful bride of Nigeria football and he seem to have taken all the accolades in his strides as he looks beyond the horizon for the next big deal.
He never lobbied to be chief executive officer of the Nigeria National league, he is not jobbless or asking for food, rather he has been very busy in recent years and sometimes thinks of where to shift some of his increasing responsibilities.
In the last two years, Bukola Olopade has raked in over 1billion naira from intensive sports marketing and sponsorship deals. He has discovered a goldmine in athletics and has made the marathon event his pot of soup.
In a short while, the Access bank Lagos marathon has risen from just a Nigerian event to one of Africa’s pride and it’s gradually becoming a fancy of the international body that is, the IAAF.
His inroad into sports marketing didnt start overnight, it is a well planned and well documented story that spanned over two decades.
During this period, he has built a strong reputarion that has stood him out among his contemporaries. He has invested a fortune into building a career in sports marketing and managenent and has shown in the last three years that this is the next big opening for every Nigerian youth with ambition to take their brand to the next level.
Just one week after resigning from his position as chief executive officer of the NNL, Ozogula, as Bukola Olopade is popularly called has found a new opening, good enough to attract his passion and drive his excitement.
It is the women’s game. Yes the Nigeria women’s football league. A league that has suffered untold hardship due to neglect by those harmed with the powers to promote and protect it.
Questions have been asked in the past as to how the FIFA grants and other monies meant to develop the game at the grassroot level was spent, questions have also been asked as to why a league that has produced top players who have dominated Africa football for more than one decade is yet to get a title sponsor.
All these rhetorics really do not demand answers but Olopade has come to provide a way out of the woods as he promises to invest his passion into promoting the women’s game and positioning the league where it belongs.
This responsiblity has given me renewed vigour and determination to excel. This was the drive I brought into the NNL and everyone can attest to the little successes we made. I have the zeal to do more but it is obvious that some persons don’t seem to appreciate the efforts we gave to making this dream a reality.”
“The successes recorded by our women’s National team is enough motivation for me to look at the opportunity presented by this offer to serve.”
I will do anything to help Nigeria football because I believe so much in the Amaju Pinnick led executive committee. I have followed closely the giant strides Aisha Falode and her board have taken, at rebranding the league. I am looking at the proposal on my table and I am challenged to give this a go,” Bukola said in a telephone conversation.
He was on live television a few days ago, to announce his new found love for the women’s game and it all seem now that, after just two weeks of divorce with the NNL, Ozogula has fallen in love with the NWFL.
Let’s look forward to a future of sweet romance and plenty successes.
By Adewale Ajayi