The fortunes of some Nigerian youths are about to change after American energy drink giants, Monster Energy, announced their commitment to the development of extreme sports in Nigeria during an event to launch their entrance into the Nigerian market at the Golden Tulip Hotel Festac, Lagos.
The event which saw some young talented Nigerians compete in some high-energy sports like FMX biking and Skateboarding against their counterparts from South Africa and Sweden was full of fun and excitement.
Extreme Sports which is relatively unfamiliar to most Nigerians are just not like mainstream sports. Past and present they are crawling with rebels, riders, drivers and rock stars. It's not about uniforms, coaches or scripts. Expressing yourself through action is the key it’s an attitude, a way of life, and Monster Energy are looking to drive up enthusaism in the sports in Nigeria while creating superstars.
Speaking exclusively to Complete Sports, Tony Parente the regional business director for Monster Energy in North, Central and West Africa explained their decision to invest in Nigeria.
He said: "The decision was made with our partners at Nigerian Bottling company after we conducted a study about a year and half ago we concluded that their is a need to bring a worldwide energy brand like Monster to the Nigerian consumer. There are a lot of opportunities in Nigeria though it's very different to other African countries.
On the response to to the energy drink in Nigeria he said: "The response so fer has been absolutely incredible, we look at people's reaction when they drink the product, it has a great acceptability because it tastes more like a soft drink rather than an energy drink that many people are accustomed to, that makes it easy for people who take soft drinks to also pick up a can of Monster because the taste is very similar to a soft drink."
Speaking further, the regional marketing director for Africa of Monster Energy, Karolis Antanenas highlighted their plans for Extreme Sports development in Nigeria.
"What you have seen today is only a small demonstration of what we actually do. Monster is a global brand with a lot of global assets, we have Lewis Hamilton, Tiger Woods, a lot of things that we do we sponsor and we intend to leverage these opportunities here. So what you have seen here at the event is just a reflection of the culture that we use within the company and the culture of the image, how we'll like to portray it. "
"This is the first statement of what we plan to do in Nigeria as regards activation, as you probably know soccer is the most popular sports in Nigeria so it's somewhat challenging for us to come in with a non-Nigerian sports. So what we're trying to do is to take the sports to the people. We're trying to creat awareness hoping that with time the sports will start gaining traction.
"We are looking to partner with some local groups and sports associations to see ways we can help them grow the sports and hopefully they'll benefit from it."