nigeria’s legendary footballer, Austin jay jay Okocha is truly an all the rage brand. First hand, I discovered how well-liked he is during the 2002 Paris International Auto Show, which I attended. Returning from the event venue to my hotel room in central Paris, I boarded a public transport.
A French lady, who sat opposite to me, obviously found out my country of origin printed on my accreditation PRESS badge, which I was still wearing. So she opened a conversation with me:
French lady: Pardon. Vous venez du Nigeria? Connaissez-vous Jay Jay Okocha ?
Me: Sorry, I don’t speak French. Could you say it in English?
French lady: You are from Nigeria?
French lady: Do you know Jay Jay Okocha?
Me: Of course, Yes. You know him?
French lady: Yes. I am his fan. He is a good footballer
She asked other questions about Nigeria, the weather and so on before I alighted. But judging from that singular experience I had in Paris, Okocha, via his football career, has no doubt, been a good ambassador of Nigeria. Imagine, in Europe, the very question a stranger, who had never met me before asked was about Jay jay, as if, to the French lady, Okocha’s name is synonymous with Nigeria (in a positive way though)
Today, he is a brand ambassador for Bajaj. Why? In his statement immediately after the unveil of Bajaj RE250 recently,Okocha said: “I accepted to be Bajaj’s ambassador, partly because its RE 250 Superkeke is the only Keke that can dribble on the road like me.”
In this interview, he threw more light on why he is endorsing Bajaj , assuring that he would be representing and promoting the brand over a long period of time.
Have a ball…
Why are you endorsing the Bajaj Brand and not any other three wheeler brand in Nigeria? And why did you agree to be its ambassador?
Jay-Jay Okocha: Bajaj is the no 1 three-wheeler brand in the world. And, as far as I know, Bajaj has brought the three-wheeler vehicle across many countries.
In 2007, I distinctly remember Bajaj as the pioneer three wheeler brand, that came into the Nigerian market. Bajaj has since been instrumental to improving many lives in Nigeria.
Bajaj is a number 2 key player in Nigeria. In terms of your association with the brand, what are the expectations?
Jay-Jay Okocha: It is only a matter of time before Bajaj becomes the number 1 player; I am very optimistic and extremely pleased with the product developments made by Bajaj. One thing I would say to the riders is that; please go ahead and purchase RE250, because it is the BEST in the class of all keke.
Why do you think RE250 will be successful in this market?
Jay-Jay Okocha: Simply put, the RE250 is the “superkeke”. It has everything the keke rider desires in a keke. RE250 solves the basic problem, which every rider dreads, for instance the strong front fork will not allow riders experience shoulder pains after a hard day’s work.
As a brand ambassador what are the special programs you will associate for the riders, mechanics, dealers’ community?
Jay-Jay Okocha: As part of the launch of the RE250, I will start visiting various locations and members of the keke communities across Lagos, East and North.
Will there be any linkage of your love for football and the brand through this association
Jay-Jay Okocha: My dear friends without going into much details, please let us keep our expectations up and our fingers crossed.
Is this a long term brand association or events affiliation only? Please share details.
Jay-Jay Okocha: This is not just an event affiliation; this is an ambition Bajaj as a brand has been very clear about. Kindly note that I will be representing and promoting the brand over a long period of time.
Will you be travelling to other locations and engaging in similar campaigns?
Jay-Jay Okocha: Yes! The launch campaign will be done in various locations across Nigeria, please look out; you may find me in your city tomorrow.
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