Nigerian professional football club, Sporting Lagos has announced a partnership with Miva University aimed at enabling some of its footballers to acquire degrees while pursuing their football careers at the country’s top-tier league.
Established in September 2023 by Sim Shagaya, Miva University is an accredited online university in Nigeria providing bachelor's degree programs in Computer Science, Nursing Science, Public Health, Software Engineering, Data Science, Cybersecurity, Business Management, Public Policy and Administration, Economics, and Accounting, with an annual tuition fee of about ₦200,000. The university is the tertiary arm of Nigerian edtech startup, uLesson.
"We're excited about the potential for personal and professional growth that this collaboration offers to our players and fans," Sporting Lagos said in a statement seen by Bendada.com.
This announcement comes in the wake of Shola Akinlade's recent participation in the inaugural Miva Masterclass at Miva University. Akinlade, the co-founder and CEO of Paystack, as well as the founder of Sporting Lagos, shared his expertise on "Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Tech" during the masterclass.
During the Miva Masterclass, he underscored the importance of fostering talent within the football club he founded last year. "Let's nurture them. Let's provide them with every opportunity so that Nigeria, in the next 10 years, can emerge as one of the top footballing nations, considering the existing potential," he said. Akinlade also addressed the issue of talent exploitation and urged thoughtful planning for the players' developmental pathway.
This perspective motivated his acquisition of a Danish football club, as he explained "We figured out that European football is a good pathway for the best players amongst other things, so that’s where Denmark came in."
In March, the CEO of the first YC-backed Nigerian company secured a 55% ownership stake in Aarhus Fremad. Presently, the club holds the top position in the Danish 2nd Division, which is the third tier of the Danish football league system.
The acquisition is geared towards expanding the European opportunities for Sporting Lagos players. In addition to a membership program and an academy, the company aims to generate revenue in the future through player transfers to European clubs.