Over 1,500 people were at the first Guinness Night football, Enugu. The live-entertainment event kicked off at 17:59 on the 21st of December 2019 at Royale Enugu hotel. The night was themed around friendly vibes with a line-up of activities like a 5 aside football match by grass-root teams, games, music, art, fashion, exclusive Guinness cuisine, amazing movie and of course the lovely dark beer Guinness.
The venue was set up like a stadium with a football pitch in the centre, in a dark and luminous ambience as Guinness showed its artistic side by welcoming guests to body paint. The Made of More brand, delivered its promise of unconventional football, as there were football video games, table soccer, football snooker and football putting. The night also featured a premiere of Merry Men movies and a fashion pop up.
Guinness aims at promoting talents and friendly culture by giving grassroots teams an avenue to showcase their talents to people, one of the football players of the night, Samuel Okago said. ‘’I am thankful for the opportunity to showcase my talent, it has created an opportunity for me because I know people are watching me, people can comment on my play’’
The game night culture was the first of its kind in the coal city of Enugu. “That was an interesting one, never knew something like this can happen in Enugu we are hoping to see more in the future,’’ said by one of the audiences, Olisa Okocha.
In Nigeria the Guinness brand is widely known for putting together different events, projects and initiatives, the brand maintains its unique reputation, taking people beyond consumption and creating an extraordinary experience.
During the event, Ventures Africa had a chat with the Senior Brand Manager of Guinness, Lola Ashafa. She takes us through the drive behind this event, future plans of the brand, current initiatives and how the brand will be connecting more with Nigerians through food, sports, and events.
Ventures Africa (VA): Tell us more about Guinness Night Football?
Lola Ashafa (LA): GNB is about football in an unexpected and unusual way, not like just come to the field and watch people play football, their other things, you can do get henna on your body, watch a movie courtesy of film house you can play games, it all about friendly vibe even if you come with your friends, you have other things you can do. All in a friendly way. That’s what we doing.
VA: Over the years Guinness has been very supportive of Nigerian football, what can we expect next year?
LA: We are still an official broadcast sponsor of the EPL, we are also doing unexpected experiences with football, so watch out for more friendly night football in a different way tonight.
VA: What do you intend to achieve with this?
LA: What we tend to achieve, the underlining here is friendly vibe, even If you have a passion not for football, for other things, you can come here have fun with your friends, meet new people connect with new people, do a bit of friendly vibe with the different things, we have four touch talents we have it’s a goal, snooker, it’s about competition not only in a football. Other spaces of gaming. We have started in the coal city because we know how passionate they are about the brand. We are running a promo called Guinness MVP who will play at the pan-Africa on the 31st with other MVPs from different cities, MVP from other countries Cameroun Uganda and Kenya.
VA: How will Guinness be supporting talents in Nigeria?
LA: Like tonight we getting people that play football on a regular, that have a passion who are made of more to come here and showcase their talent, Enugu is the first city, we are going to Lagos Abuja and there is an overall final in Lagos that’s been hosted by Rio Ferdinand.
VA: We know Guinness launched a new product exploring African herbs, ingredients and spices going forward will Guinness be exploring more African herbs?
LA: We will be exploring other things, it’s all in the pipeline. As you know we evolve towards what we doing, what we have in our bags, but do look out and watch out, we have Guinness smooth now, there are other things coming up.
VA: Over the years, Guinness has been supportive of different initiatives, last year was an awareness for safe driving, project concerning water, what other initiatives can we look forward to?
LA: The initiative at the moment is to join the pact it’s about people signing up and committing that I will not drink and drive at the same time, it an awareness program to sign up and commit to themselves they wouldn’t drive and drive, drinking responsibly.
VA: Tell us more about the food menu tonight?
LA: The menu for all, are all Guinness infused, we have brownies cream caramel. It’s all about the flavours of Guinness Bold, Rich, Refreshed and bittersweet, you will taste the flavours from each of the desserts that are available.
VA: In the UK and Ireland, Guinness is used to cooking different dishes? Are we going to see the beverage infused with Nigeria cuisines?
LA: We work with different cuisines at the moment. We also have infused in our grill for tonight, Guinness sauces.