By Seraj Essul and Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 15 May 2014:
Libya’s leading diary and ice cream manufacturer, Al-Naseem Dairy Company, is in discussions . . .[restrict]with a Spanish La Liga football team for a sponsorship deal.
Chairman of Al-Naseem, Mohamed Raeid confirmed to Libya Herald that discussions are taking place with the Barcelona-based RCD Espanyol premier league team, currently positioned mid table.
Initial talks centred around a Euro 800.000 sponsorship deal which would include the Al-Naseem logo appearing on the RCD Espanyol shirt. It would also include 12 VIP seats for home matches as well. Raeid said that the Spanish club were also interested in cooperating with all the Libyan football counterparts.
Asked why Al-Naseem had preferred to consider sponsoring a football team in the Spanish league, as opposed to in Libya or in any other of the top European leagues, Raeid said that there were several reasons.
With regards to Spain, Raeid said that there currently existed a good relationship between Spanish football and Libya on account of the fact that the Libyan national team is managed by a Spaniard, Javier Clemente.
Clemente had been appointed manager of the Libyan national football team in September 2013 and won the African Nations Championship with them in February this year.
Another link between Espanyol, Clemente and Libya is that Clemente managed RCD Espanyol on three separate occasions in the 80,s 90’s and lastly between 2002-2003.
From a publicity and advertising point of view, Raeid explained that many Libyans watch a lot of Spanish football. But so do many Tunisians and Moroccans, he added, where Al-Nassem export about 30 percent of their production.
However, Raeid did not think that Al-Naseem was ready to export its products to the Spanish market in the short term.
With regards to a deal with one of the two top Libyan football teams, Raeid admitted that they were asking for a higher amount for an equivalent deal. Linking up with a Spanish team, Raeid further explained, would in his view give his brand better North African and international coverage.
Raeid was at pains to point out, however, that Al Naseem already sponsors the Libyan state sport TV channel, Al-Riyadia.
On the background to these negotiations, Raeid revealed that he was on a business trip in Spain and ended up watching an RCD Espanyol match. This led to talk of a sponsorship deal. Raeid said he was impressed by the club and its facilities.
In 2010 Espanyol had won the prize for the club with the best facilities in the Spanish La Liga.
Raeid’s Al-Naseem Misrata factory has become a leading light in Libyan exports. It exports to Tunisia and Morocco and is targeting exports to Egypt and Malta next year as well as seeking a distributor in the Gulf region.
Indeed, Al-Naseem was participating at the International Food Fair in Dubai earlier this week where they confirmed that they are seeking a Gulf region distributor for their products. Al-Naseem expect high demand in the region where high temperatures create year round demand for their chilled products.
Mohamed Raeid and Al Naseem factory were reviewed in the February 2013 (issue one) edition of Libya Herald’s Business Eye. Subscribers can download a pdf copy of the magazine. [/restrict]