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The Super Eagles jer­sey has con­vert­ed Pad­dy Pow­er to fans of Nige­ria

The Irish bet­ting site will sup­portNige­ria for three inter­est­ing rea­sons.

Nige­ri­a’s World Cup jer­sey is a fan favorite.  (Nike)

Of the 32 teams head­ed to Rus­sia, The Niger­ian Nation­al Team’s Nike-designed jer­sey to the 2018 World Cup in Rus­sia has become a fan favourite.

Upon its launch in Nike stores in Eng­land on Fri­day, June 1st, 2018, the jer­sey report­ed­ly sold out in three short hours. Now, an Irish bet­ting site, Pad­dy Pow­er, has quot­ed the jer­sey as one of the rea­sons it will sup­port the Eagles at the tour­na­ment in Rus­sia.

Pad­dy Pow­er is one of the world’s biggest bet­ting sites. Based out of Ire­land, the plat­form is most known among Nige­ri­ans for its pres­ence on Twit­ter, where it posts fun­ny, some­times par­o­dy­ing tweets in response to var­i­ous sport­ing events and trends.

If we’re com­pil­ing a list of foot­ball-relat­ed trends on social media over the last cou­ple of days, the Super Eagles and their jer­sey have to be at or near the top of the list. The Eagles played Eng­land at Wem­b­ley on Sat­ur­day, June 2, 2018, and one of the major talk­ing points was, of course, the jer­sey.

That morn­ing, Pad­dy Pow­er tweet­ed from its offi­cial account, @paddypower, that it would be sup­port­ing the Niger­ian Nation­al Team for three rea­sons.

Guin­ness and three rea­sons

First, the Super Eagles kit “looks class”, an opin­ion that looks much bet­ter with a ‑y at the end of the sec­ond word.

Sec­ond, like the Irish Nation­al Team, Nige­ria lines up in green, the colour of two-thirds of our nation­al flag, the dense veg­e­ta­tion you zoom by while you’re trav­el­ling between states and the greed that defines our polit­i­cal class.

Third, it claims “Nige­ria con­sumes more Guin­ness than Ire­land”. It was true 11 years ago. In 2007, Dia­geo announced that Nige­ria had over­tak­en Ire­land as the sec­ond largest mar­ket for their black stout.

The world’s largest drinks com­pa­ny said Nige­ria account­ed for 18% of sales in the year end­ing June 2007.

There’s not been any new infor­ma­tion since then.

The fourth and, per­haps most impor­tant rea­son, is that the Irish Nation­al Team will not be play­ing in Rus­sia.

Wiz­kid and Alex Iwobi are among the stars who helped sell Nige­ri­a’s jer­sey to the world.  (Twitter/Nike)

The island nation was sec­ond, behind Ser­bia, in their Euro­pean Qual­i­fy­ing Group.

Nige­ri­a’s nation­al team jer­sey and the kit’s release have tak­en advan­tage of a wave of curios­i­ty about Nige­ria. That and a unique design inspired by the Eagle’s wings, and oth­er pop cul­ture ref­er­ences, have made it a fan favorite.

The offi­cial cre­ative announc­ing that the kit’s launch in stores fea­tured Gram­my-nom­i­nat­ed Wiz­kid, Beats 1 host and radio per­son­al­i­ty, Julie Ade­nu­ga and Arse­nal for­ward Alex Iwobi, among oth­ers.

Do it for Yeki­ni and the Cul­ture

Nige­ri­a’s jer­sey draws on the nos­tal­gia of the 1994 team when the coun­try first appeared at the World Cup.

Most Niger­ian fans are already in World Cup mode, and it’s fair to say it ampli­fied after the jer­sey was unveiled by a cast of stars that includ­ed Wiz­kid, Alex Iwobi, and lat­er, Julie Ade­nu­ga.

Fake repli­cas appeared to meet an impos­si­ble demand for the jer­sey before it was launched on Fri­day, June 1, 2018.

2018’s young team has weighty expec­ta­tions on their shoul­ders.

The jer­sey was inspired by the kit worn by the 1994 team, the first to appear at the world cup.

Nobody, not even Coach Ger­not Rohr expects the Eagles to fly back in gold, but the likes of Iwobi and Iheana­cho are expect­ed to liv­en Niger­ian spir­its.

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