By FRED EDOREH
Nigeria’s real estate giant, RevolutionPlus, has promised a more coourful outing on the next edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, pledging the introduction of various initiatives and opportunities to reward participants and spectators.
Mr Bamidele Onalaja, Managing Director of the leading realty in Nigeria with aim to dominate the sector in Sub Saharan Africa, gave the assurance, Tuesday morning, at the official media presentation of RevolutionPlus as a sponsorship partner of the Lagos City Marathon, in a N500M five year deal which will see the company funding the event at N100M annually.
“We had hoped to be part of the 3rd (2018) edition of the Lagos City Marathon in the category of community sponsors which was just about N20M, but we couldn’t finalize the arrangements before the event. We however sent our Executive Director (Tolulope Onalaja) to witness it and she came back with beautiful stories. We have therefore decided to join as major sponsors to partner with Lagos State to sustain the wonderful initiative,” Mr Onalaja disclosed.
“We are doing this as a matter of corporate social responsibility because sports is important for human life. We can only live in a house when we are alive. That is why we encourage Nigerians and Lagosians to participate in the Marathon.”
“We are bringing a new dimension to the event. Housing and property are relevant to sports. You cannot run without a road and the runners live in houses. With our entry, the 2019 edition of the marathon will be more colorful with initiatives and opportunities from RevolutionPlus for participants to win houses, lands and other properties.”
Describing her experience of the Lagos City Marathon, Mrs Tolulope Onalaja, Executive Director and and wife of the MD, said the ambience and organization surpassed her expectation, prompting her to encourage the company to join in promoting and sustaining its excellence.
“It was a great decision for my husband to have asked me to represent him at the last edition as he was away, and what I saw surpassed my expectation. You know, when you have expectation of about 70% and you are met with about 110%. The event was excellent and the organization was top notch,” she enthused.
“Besides the elite athletes, I saw young people and physically challenged persons running in different categories, with a lot of love shown to everyone. We decided we will partner with the state to make it bigger because the event is in line with our values which is caring for everyone through providing affordable housing. Whatever level you are, we have a property for you. All levels of persons are our customers because RevoutionPlus cuts across, the super rich as well as the lower income group. We are not just driving a business but a vision for all to have houses not only in Nigeria but across the world. In this passion, there is a very thin line between charity and profit. We are also encouraging Nigerians in Diaspora to invest in property at home to support nation building, and we are here to manage and guarantee the investments for them.”
Bukola Olopade, Managing Director of Nilayo Group, the Marketing firm of the Lagos City Marathon, was all joy with the entry of RevolutionPlus, informing that the development is in consonance with the involvement of real estate concerns in various other top marathons in the world.
“There is no doubt that RevolutionPlus is the best property development company in Nigeria, but what is even more remarkable is that this is the most understanding and seamless sponsorship we have ever had in the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon. Your job is made easier when your sponsor understands your vision.”
“We had approached them to come as a community sponsor but we couldn’t consummate the deal in 3rd edition. However, the ED attended and when we came back to continue the sale of the Community category package which is N20m, they opted for full sponsorship because they were impressed and mean to contribute more.”
On the relevance of a real estate company to the sport of marathon, Olopade said both share same nature.
“Building a house is like marathon and Vice versa. Nobody can build a house in one day. It is a Marathon. Besides, every major Marathons in the world have have realties behind them. The Dubai Marathon is backed by Dubai Holdings just as the Boston Realty Council and John Hancock investments are with the Boston Marathon.”
Olopade also revealed that though the running route is about the best in the world with very little difficulties compared to other marathons, there are plans to make the route even more friendlier to enable athletes run shorter times, as well as plans to increase the prize money in the coming years.
General Manager of the event and Commonwealth Games champion, Yusuf Ali, also welcomed the new new sponsor, assuring its management and staff that they are in a good place.
“The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is the biggest one-day event in Africa. Our running times show the high calibre of athletes that come to the Marathon and they will continue to come.”