Ghana triple jump record holder, Nadia Eke, believes the reason corporate institutions in Africa are unwilling to offer sponsorship deals to African athletes is because of the limited perception the companies have about the athletes.
One of the surest ways athletes earn income across the world is through corporate endorsements but the same cannot be said in Africa, especially, Ghana.
Nadia is African triple jump champion from 2016 and a silver medalist from two years before that in Marrakech.
She represented Ghana at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and has also qualified for the rescheduled Tokyo Games, doing so with a new national record leap of 14.33m.
But even with her pedigree, the 27 year old has no professional contract and no brand endorsement.
Speaking on why brands don’t turn to athletes for endorsements in Africa, Nadia who has a Psychology degree from Columbia University, believes companies have a very limited view of the African athlete which does not include the intellectual capacity they possess.
“On the sponsorship side, there are so many opportunities for brands. They are seeing athletes in a very limited way.
“When a brand looks at me and say she is a triple jumper or she is a triple jumper from Ghana and that’s it. But they are not looking at me as the whole individual, what I can bring to the table”, she told Athletics Africa.
“I graduated from an Ivy League University, I have sense. There is so much I can bring to your company but a lot of times, unfortunately, companies don’t see that in athletes. On the reverse side, athletes don’t see that in themselves too, to make them position themselves in a way to gain sponsorship from companies.
“In the African continent, I think companies are missing a lot to use athletes and gain exposure for their brands.”