The Italian Serie A side agreed a multi-year partnership with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Friday with the goal of working together on and off the pitch to help further grow and improve all levels of football in Nigeria while the NFF will reciprocate by collaborating with AS Roma in their projects and development initiatives in Nigeria.
Speaking to busybuddiesng.com, Rogers who was in Nigeria to share his expertise of the digital media space at the CampsBay Media organised Africa Digital Sports Conference which brought together the best brains and digital media practitioners said the partnership will prove beneficial for both entities.
“I think there’s benefits that can be had for both sides,” Rogers said. “It’s a great way for a football club and a national association to work together with the goal of improving football from every age level on and off the pitch.”
“So, where we can share some knowledge, and some best practices in youth player development that’s what we will do. We intend to have a party of officials from the NFF come to Rome to come and look at the facilities in Rome and then we will share business and football best practices between both parties.
“Also, we would love to play a game in Nigeria that is something the Roma hasn’t done to date and potentially, maybe, open an academy at some point or partner with companies who open an academy.”
The Italian club has built up a strong following amongst Nigerians since it adopted the Super Eagles and celebrated the team’s widely loved jersey to 2018 FIFA World Cup in China.
The Italian side even did a Twitter thread showing design ideas based on Nigeria’s jersey it was considering for their own kit ahead of the 2019/2020 Serie A season.
Sensing an opportunity to further engage fans in Nigeria – a country with one of the highest social media users in the world – AS Roma opened a Pidgin Twitter account which has proven to be a huge hit.
Many have pointed out that rather than partner with the NFF, AS Roma could have collaborated with League Management Company and Nigerian football clubs who are much more in need of the Italian side’s expertise especially around digital media.
Rogers, who worked with English Premier League (EPL) Liverpool before moving to Italy said even though the present arrangement between the Club and NFF has nothing to do with the NPFL or Nigerian club sides, AS Roma are willing to explore opportunities of working with domestic club sides.
“We are open to having conversations with all clubs and leagues, our partnership is with the NFF but we’ve talked about coming over and doing workshops on digital social media which I think would be open to anyone from the football industry.
“We’ve got a good relationship with some clubs and I don’t want to name any in particular because I don’t want to leave anyone out, but through things that we’ve done like the ‘Team of the Day,’ we’ve highlighted Nigerian clubs.”