• Nike didn’t treat us well, says AFN chief Okowa

    Nike didnt treat us well says afn chief okowa - nigeria newspapers online
    • 3Minutes – Read
    • 432Words (Approximately)

    Nike didn’t treat us well, says AFN chief Okowa

    Nigerian track and field athletes will be donning new kits at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris following the cutting of ties between the Athletics Federation of Nigeria and kit-making giants, Nike, PUNCH Sport Extra has learnt.

    Nike produced Nigeria’s kits for the last two World Championships and the 2022 Commonwealth Games, but the country was not included when the firm recently released kits for the Olympic Games.

    However, the athletes wore a different kit at the 2023 African Games in Ghana and used the same at the just-concluded World Relays in the Bahamas.

    Before then, there had been inconsistencies in the kiting of the athletes but AFN president, Tonobok Okowa, said all that would end as the federation’s marketing partners were working on a new kits maker.

    Although Okowa did not reveal the name of the brand and the details of their contract, PUNCH Sport Extra   learnt that the maker is a California-based firm known as Actively Black owned by a professional basketball player Lanny Smith.

    “We have been doing our own thing, I don’t know who is going to kit Team Nigeria, because they will be going there under the Nigeria Olympic Committee,” Okowa told our correspondent.

    “But when it comes to the athletes, we are working on another company.

    “Nike has not treated us well. We used them in Oregon and we also used them at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. And the kind of kits they gave us at the World Championships in Budapest wasn’t encouraging and we are not going to keep running after them if they are not ready, after all, there is no cash backing in it,” the AFN president said.

    A Nigerian athlete, Olayinka Olajide, who won all shades of medals at the 2023 African Games in Ghana and was also part of the women’s 4x100m relay team that just booked their ticket to the Olympics, said the brand doesn’t matter as much as the quality.

    “I believe the federation knows what the manufacturer must consider. So, anything we want to wear must be comfortable because you don’t want to get distracted by how tight your kit is when you are preparing for a race or on the track,” Olajide said.

    “It must also be durable because you will have to keep it and use it in training or even give it out to people as a souvenir. It must also be very easy to wear and pull because it’s not something you should waste time trying to wear.”

    See More Stories Like This