Like the immediate past edition, Season 5 will be sponsored by a betting company, but this time around, it will be international betting heavyweight Betway, and not Bet9ja taking up the lead sponsor role. The new season begins on 19 July.
Big Brother Naija is the Nigerian variant of the reality television show, Big Brother, in which a number of housemates are camped in an isolated apartment for a few months. The contestants compete for very attractive prizes, with the winner determined by public votes. The show is essentially a popularity contest.
BBNaija has produced some of the most notable names in the entertainment industry, including Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and Gideon Okeke. Last year’s winner, Mercy Eke carted away 30 million Naira, along with other prizes. Her total winnings were valued at an eye-popping 60 million naira.
The cash prize for the winner stays at 30 million naira in 2020, but the overall value of the first prize increases to 85 million naira. Along with the cash, the last contestant standing will get a luxurious two bedroom apartment, an SUV, a smartphone, television set, refrigerator, trips to Dublin and Dubai, trip to the UEFA Champions League final and many more.
Auditions for the fifth season were conducted online in May, with applicants required to upload an introductory two-minute video on why they should be selected for the reality show. Organizers say they received over 30,000 applicants- the highest in the show’s history.
Ever since Big Brother Naija made its debut in 2006, it has constantly captivated the Nigerian audience, and has become a gold mine for sponsors. The last edition of the show, dubbed “Pepper Dem”, attracted an estimated 240 million votes, twice the number of votes polled in the previous season.
It is easy to see why companies are willing to team up with the show, and betting sites in Nigeria are now leading the way in that regard. In 2019, Bet9ja became the first betting company to sponsor Big Brother Naija, but their tenure lasted only one season, with Betway taking the reins this year.
The financial details of the contract are not clear, but it is believed that Betway paid over $1 million to secure the deal.
“Betway is excited to be a part of Big Brother Naija season five. The collaboration with Big Brother
Naija presents us with the opportunity to engage and connect with Nigerians through our amazing range of sports betting and online games. We believe our offerings will bring added excitement to both the contestants and the viewers at home”, said Betway representative, Chris Ubosi.
This is a massive statement from Betway in their quest to become the top betting site in Nigeria. The bookmaker has been steady in Nigerian market, but it still trails local heavyweights, Bet9ja and NairaBet. This latest move is sure to accelerate the popularity of the company.
By teaming up with Big Brother Naija, Betway will gain tremendous exposure in the Nigerian market, and win over a brand new audience. The timing of the show is also very crucial. Big Brother Naija will be held between July and October, merging with the start of the new football season. There is a great probability that new bettors will turn to the site when the football season begins.