BrandArena: February 2012

Monday 27 February 2012

HP Introduces World’s First 27-inch All-in-One Workstation

HP has unveiled the world’s first all-in-one workstation with a 68.6 cm (27”) diagonal display. Designed like no other, the display of the new HP Z1 Workstation snaps open so users can easily swap out parts and make upgrades without any tools required. The new HP Z1 Workstation is expected to be available in Nigeria in April.

The HP Z1 combines a sleek industrial design with accelerated performance featuring Intel Xeon processors, NVIDIA Quadro graphics, support for more than 1 billion colors and HP’s world-class reliability. Built for computer-aided design, digital media, entertainment, architects, education and independent professionals, the HP Z1 provides blazingly fast rendering and performance. It offers a full range of workstation-class graphics cards and processors, and is thoroughly tested and certified to work with today’s leading industry applications.

Whether it’s an engineer creating 3-D components, an architect designing buildings, a videographer editing event footage or photographer finishing photo shots, the HP Z1 gives creative professionals the power they need to bring ideas to life faster.

“The revolutionary HP Z1 creates a new category of workstations elevating the standard for design, performance, upgradability and serviceability,” said Fulvio Dona, HP Workstation Category Manager. “With its game-changing design and an experience that optimizes visual and computing performance, the HP Z1 will help attract new customers and expand our market leadership.”

Workstation performance without compromise. It features professional NVIDIA Quadro graphics, ECC memory, quad-core Intel Xeon processors, independent software vendor solutions and whisper-quiet acoustics. Tool-less chassis: Users can easily add a hard drive, upgrade memory or access the graphics card by snapping open the chassis to swap out parts. Workstation-class storage: Users can choose from a variety of storage types, including 7.2K and 10K SATA, SSD, optional RAID configurations, a multiformat media card reader and optical drives.

Have face-to-face meetings and see every detail right down to the twinkle of an eye. Also captures HD-quality video, front-facing dual-cone speakers and SRS Premium Sound offer high-fidelity audio, 68.6 cm (27”) LED-backlit display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 supports more than 1 billion colors and features a wide, 178-degree viewing angle and an in-plane switching (IPS) panel etc.

Registration for Cowbell Maths Competition First Stage Exam begins

Students of junior and senior secondary schools across the country have been urged to commence registration for the first stage examinations of the 2012 Cowbell National Secondary School Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC). The call was made in Lagos by the Marketing Director of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell milk, Mr. Kachi Onubogu, stressing that the competition is open to all students between 10 – 18 years of age in JSS3 and SSS2 attending full time secondary education in government approved schools in Nigeria.

According to Onubogu, the best three students in both categories, i.e. junior and senior would represent each school for this year’s edition, noting that the schools can collect their registration form from Promasidor Head office / depots across Nigeria, all state ministries of education, Neo Media and Marketing Limited and can be downloaded online at

The forms must be properly filled, stamped and signed by the school principal and presented by the student to the officials at the examination centre on the examination day and entry into the competition is absolutely free.

The first stage examination will hold on Saturday March 17, 2012 in 200 centres across Nigeria and details of the 200 centres will be stated in newspapers. The examination will be supervised by officials of the State Ministry of Education and Promasidor personnel in all the centres.

Students, teachers and head teachers are required to check their examination results on the company’s website: as from Wednesday, May 23, 2012.

Students with the highest scores in both the junior and the senior categories from each state will be invited for the second and final stage examination from where the national prize winners shall emerge. The best three students in each category at the state level will receive the following cash prizes for their outstanding performance at the first stage examination: first prize N25,000, second prize N20,000 and third prize N15,000.

In addition, the winners will receive branded gift items like school bags, T-shirts, pens, notebooks and certificates of recognition. The mathematics teachers of the winning students will not be left out. A cash award of N15,000 each will be given to teachers of the first prize winners in each state for both senior and junior categories.

The NASSMAC has been approved by the Federal Ministry of Education. The Cowbell NASSMAC started in 1998 with the aim of helping students to demystify mathematics. The competition creates a credible platform for identification and celebration of outstanding students and recognition of exceptional ability.

The competition has become a reference point in Educational CSR in Nigeria and over the years, however, the coverage of the competition especially in the print media has been perceived as conservative.

Bank Mergers: Some Customers Remain Reluctant to Bank

Despite continues marketing communication strategies applied by bank brands who recently acquired their competitors, some customers still remain skeptical and reluctant to operate their bank account of the acquired banks.

Investigations carried out by BrandArena revealed that some of the customers are worried about the lack of stability of the bank brands, banking policies among other challenges facing the sector generally.

According to Lekan Agbede, a Businessman, the acquisition of Intercontinental Bank by Access Bank still remains a nightmare to him. His words: “I was out of the country when I heard from some of my clients that Access Bank had acquired Intercontinental Bank. I have been operating my Intercontinental since it commenced service and I am still skeptical about operating the account anymore because I know little about their Access Bank before now.”

A lady who craved anonymous asserted that she has been having some challenges cashing a Intercontinental Bank cheque at Access Bank branches in Abeokuta. The depressed lady revealed: “I have been trying to cash a cheque in order to pay for my apartment but it’s been challenging to get the money. It’s quite frustrating. ”
Olufemi Amoo, a student said: “Operating my Intercontinental bank account since the acquisition saga is not quite encouraging considering the pathetic delay in all transactions. For example I have requested for an ATM card getting to four weeks now but I have not been able to get it till this very moment. Now that Access bank has finally taken over, the transaction situation is deteriorating.”

Speaking further, he said: “To me, this is a ridiculous excuse; a customer that makes huge daily transactions feels the heat of these acquisitions more. I believe that the two banks like others ought to understand that many people in the country survive on their daily bank transaction activities.”

Felicia Amusan, a Businesswoman said: “I think its tiring to see the banking sector experiencing these again. I never envisaged that Oceanic Bank will be no more. I am yet to decide to keep operating my account or open a new account in one of the consistent banks around my area”.

A customer of Oceanic Bank, who simply identified himself, has Francis also expressed his hesitant: “I just hope Ecobank has not bitten more than it can chew. Two customers had to exchange blows on the queue due to stress, tension and exhaustion. Really my experience that day was bad but I think the situation is gradually changing.”

Felix Emeka, a Trader claimed that he has decided to invest his money into real estate and properties because he is skeptical about the instability of banks. “I’m always worried when ever my bank has to merge. In the past, I have had such experience and I end up leaving those accounts; this time I have decided to go into real state and property acquisition” he stated.

Like Emeka, Stella Bamidele also revealed that she now use her money for business because she had to closed down her banks account due to poor customer relations she had experience in bank merge in the past. She asserted that, the Central Bank of Nigeria should try to unsure that the sector is consistent and help with policies that will help the poor man on the street.

Economics Analyst, Fagbemi Daniel, believes the integration in the sector in recent years have brought more development economically and can only continue to get better. He maintained that though the some banks are still struggling but will over some their challenges over time. “Nigerians are some time reluctant to accept certain socio-economic change. It is natural for an average trader who only goes to the bank to save his or her little money, to wonder what the merge is all about again. It is a good development that will favour our economy in a long run,” he said.

Friday 24 February 2012

Etisalat Rewards Outstanding Distributors at Heroes Awards

In a bid to continuously appreciate its outstanding Distribution Partner in Nigeria, Telecomm. Company, Etisalat, once again put a smile on the faces of its Distributors by gaving out awards and prizes at an awards dinner held at Oriental Hotel, Lekki Lagos, recently.

The yearly event which is known as the Etisalat Heroes Awards is an avenue to express appreciation for their support over the past year and also reward the best performing Distribution Partners who contributed to the growth and business success of the Etisalat brand in Nigeria.

According to the Company, year 2011 was an eventful and fruitful year for the brand, stating that its business increased from a subscriber base of about 6.8 million at the beginning of the year to a closing figure of 10.8 million subscribers at the end of December 2011. “None of these would have happened without the hard work, enterprise and good business acumen of you our valued partners”, it stated.

Partners were rewarded in nine categories namely; Distribution Partner with Highest SIM Activations; Best E-Top Up Distributor; Best Trade Key Account; Distribution Partner with Highest Airtime Sales; Best Data Distributor; Distribution Partner with Best Dedicated Outlet; Distribution Partner with Highest SIM Registrations; Distribution Partner with Highest Dealership Growth and Distribution Partner with Best Overall Performance.

The winning partners were presented with glittering plaques, certificates and prizes ranging from exotic cars – Mitsubishi Pajero and Toyota Prado – to trade utility vehicles, refrigerators, inverters, laptops, heavy duty generators, solar notebooks, among others.

Thursday 23 February 2012

Adidas names 2013 Africa Cup of Nations ball

Adidas has announced the official match-ball name for 2013 African Nations Cup tournament, which South Africa will host. The ball that will be used in South Africa has been named the Adidas Katlego, and will be the fourth consecutive sponsorship of the Afcon official match ball.

Katlego, which over a three-week period beat alternate names khanya (which means light) and motswako (which means mixture/medley) as the official match-ball name, was chosen by African football fans – via an online competition – across the continent.

It will be Adidas’ fourth consecutive sponsorship of the Afcon official match ball.

“Adidas is proud to be at the helm of the production and the naming of yet one more South African-inspired official match-ball following the resounding successes of both the Kopanya and Jabulani balls, which were launched for the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and the 2010 Fifa World Cup respectively,” Zobuzwe Ngobese, PR manager at Adidas South Africa, told

“This will be adidas’ fourth official match-ball for the Afcon since its partnership with the federation in 2008.” The overall design and the technology utilised in the making of Katlego will be officially unveiled in October 2012.

“We are confident the 2013 Afcon tournament will be a resounding success as the name of the official match ball suggests,” added Ngobese. South Africa will host the biennial competition in place of Libya, which is experiencing political problems.

Heineken to Sponsor 5 Consumers for Champions League final

As part of its promise to provide an enduring consumer experience to UEFA Champion’s league followers in Nigeria, Heineken, a premium brand from the stable of Nigerian Breweries has announced its plan to sponsor five lucky Nigerian Heineken consuming football fans to this year’s final in Germany.

The winners will enjoy an all expense paid trip to witness the final match of the UEFA Champions League at the Alianze Arena, Germany on May 19, 2012.

During a press briefing held in Lagos recently at the premium Heineken Champions Planet, the brand outlined several exciting programmes to give its consumers a premium experience. These programmes includes among others, the StarPlayer game, an innovative interactive digital game to further engage all visitors while matches are in progress.

All Heineken consumers in Nigeria stand a chance to be part of the exclusive experience at the Heineken Champions Planet. In premium bar spots across the country, invitations for the Heineken Champions Planet, UCL devices other high value gifts can be won by our loyal Heineken consumers. More so, quizzes will be held at half-time during live UCL match nights on AIT and at the Heineken Facebook page where invitations and prizes can be won.

According to the brand, the pleasure and stimulation of the competition will not be limited to the Champions Planet alone but also bring all the matches to Nigerians through a terrestrial TV sponsorship.

All the excitement happening at the Heineken Champions Planet will be shared across the nation through episodes during the UCL match nights on terrestrial and cable TV.
Heineken Champions Planet has incorporated the brand’s innovative interactive digital game, StarPlayer, in a demo room on the first floor. The game will offer the users the chance to further enhance their UEFA Champions League viewing experience by trying to anticipate what will happen next in a particular game in order to score points and will be running a number of leagues throughout the season with exclusive prizes on offer to winning players.

Samsung Challenging iTunes U with Galaxy Learning Hub

Samsung Korea has introduced it is to roll out a new learning platform for its Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9. The Learning Hub platform will offer educational content including 6,000 textbooks and videos from 30 different education service providers.

According to a release by the company, the Hub training platform from Samsung featuring the first 30 major domestic and international education as a service provider in partnership with 6,000 U / is expected to provide free content. In addition, a variety of multimedia teaching and learning along with the hub.

Problem solving through interactive materials, automatic scoring, incorrect notes, such as learning management capabilities to support a self-guided learning environment.

In Korea, elementary education textbooks genius / lectures, emergency education and secondary materials of Vita Edu / Teaching, YBM language textbook / lecture, edyuwil. Certification courses, lectures, etc. hyunet literacy to adults of all ages from elementary school to learn a variety of education is planning to offer content.

Tablets, smart phones, mobile learning, such as eco-system: Learning Hub gaelreoksitaep 10.1 and gaelreoksitaep 8.9 LTE in tablet applications, such as Smart Edu or samseongaepseu through you will be able to download and use.

"Samsung smartphones such as the future in order to support the terminal will expand. Running through the hub, as well as a small training companies, private operators can anyone provide educational content that will help enable mobile learning market is expected".

"On the other hand, MWC 2012, as demonstrated in the booth decorated like a real classroom receiving instruction through learning hub so you can enjoy the same user will experience", it reads.

Interbrand Releases 2012 Best Retail Brands Report

Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy has released its 2nd annual global report dedicated to the retail sector. The Best Retail Brands report ranks the top 50 U.S. retail brands by brand value, as well as the top retail brands from the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, and the Asia Pacific region.

The U.S. brands are valued for the fourth time in collaboration with Interbrand Design Forum, Interbrand’s retail experience group. Findings show that U.S. retailers are continuing on a path of steady growth, with online retail spending making up to almost 9 percent of all U.S. retail sales, a jump from 7 percent from 2011.

Interbrand is one of the world’s largest branding consultancies. With nearly 40 offices in 25 countries, Interbrand’s combination of rigorous strategy, analytics and world-class design enables it to assist clients in creating and managing brand value effectively across all touchpoints in all market dynamics.

Looking beyond the U.S. list, Tesco (UK), Carrefour (France), Aldi (Germany), Zara (Spain), and Woolworths (Asia Pacific) are ranked as the number one retailer in their respective markets—all holding their top spots from 2011. Across Europe, leading retailers are gaining a competitive edge and winning customers by investing in new omnichannel strategies and in the overall in-store brand experience. In Asia, retailers are placing a renewed focus on quality, personalization, and after-sales services in an effort to rebuild and bolster consumer confidence following the natural disasters and economic turmoil that plagued the region in the past year.

Retail is a highly competitive marketplace. Consumer spending is scattered due to the myriad ways of making purchases. Manufacturers are becoming retailers, and new rivals - often in the form of both small companies and international players entering new territories - are continuing to fragment the market. In such a climate, every customer interaction becomes crucial.

“Today’s retailers have entered an era of infinite competition,” said Jez Frampton, Global Chief Executive of Interbrand. “These Best Retail Brands understand that every channel matters in the new landscape – and prove that though a multichannel approach is certainly more complex, if done strategically, it pays off.”

Brand-led companies are proving to be resilient by continuing to bolster their digital experience, while simultaneously finding new ways to reinvigorate the in-store brand experience. “One of the most compelling lessons from the list is that the best brands didn’t stand idly by, waiting for further signs of recovery. They contributed to it by anticipating their customer’s desire to return – not to shopping as usual – but to something better,” said Bruce Dybvad, CEO of Interbrand Design Forum. “For the most part, companies have invested in better store experiences and put more capabilities into the hands of their shoppers.”

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Wednesday 22 February 2012

Africa's own Social Network ready to Soar

Africa's home-grown social networking site, Yookos, was unveiled in Lagos, yesterday - and it's ready to grab the hearts of Africans in the continent and in diaspora by offering a value-based platform that talks directly to African issues.

Yookos - for You Own Your Cosmos - has been flying under the radar for the past year while it readies itself for launch, and Chief Executive Officer, Tomisin Fashina believes the market is ripe for the new entrant.

"Our early experience suggests there's a huge need for a quintessentially African social network that helps Africans interact, socialise, share information and access entertainment that is relevant to them, whether they're in London, New York or a remote village in Nigeria," said Fashina, a former banker tapped to head up the rapidly-growing operation.

The site,, already has some 6 million users, and growing by the day. Fashina is aiming for 20 million active users within a year, and believes this target is eminently reachable as the site continues to add content, functionality and additional languages.

Fashina says social media penetration remains low in many African countries precisely because it lacks local relevance - and he believes Yookos has a vital role to play in breaking digital barriers, making the continent social media-savvy and providing social relevance in a networked environment.

"We believe in the continent, and are investing in its future," said Fashina. "For us, Africa's challenges are its opportunities. Our emphasis is on social development. Our biggest challenge in the continent is illiteracy, and we'll be looking to find ways to be part of the solution. We care about Africa and uplifting the people, whether that's through giving students access to educational materials or putting families in contact with their loved ones on the other side of the world

Yookos was born as an online platform for Christ Embassy head Pastor Chris to share prayer points with his followers - but Fashina says they quickly realised the potential of the platform. The result is that Christ Embassy is one user on the burgeoning site, with Yookos forging its own identity across the continent.

"We're proud of our roots, but what Yookos is a social network designed to reach out to all Africans, regardless of religion, politics, gender or where one is. This is a meeting place for all Africans to come and be educated, entertained, and interact," said Fashina. "More than 40 other churches and community organisations are already using Yookos as a platform to reach their communities, and we're hoping to grow that significantly."

Yookos believes its positioning as a values-based platform will also be attractive to many Africans put off by more liberal Western platforms: "We don't want pornography, foul language or violence. This is a place where people are comfortable to come and talk about everything from football to music in a comfortable environment. We want to be about things that add to you and lift you up, not things that pull you down!"

The way of the future is undoubtedly mobile, says Fashina. For millions in Africa, mobile phones are the main and often only connections to the Internet - and a way to put Yookos in every hand. To this end, Yookos has developed a unique yet easy to use mobile app for mobile users to connect their world through Yookos.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Winners Emerge in the Red Star Express Scratch For Gift Offer

Winners have emerged from the first month of the Red Star Express Plc “Scratch for Gift Offer”. Loyola Jesuit College from Abuja won the star prize of a plasma television while Adebayo Macaulay, a representative of an engineering company in Ibadan went home with the second prize of a smart phone. The third prize of a refrigerator went to Bankole Adeniyi, a representative of VDT communications Limited in Lagos.

Commenting on the Red Star Express Plc “Scratch for Gift Offer”, the Executive Director, Mr. Muyiwa Olumekun, disclosed that the Promo was mainly targeted at promoting customers stake in Red Star Express success story over the years.
>It was revealed that customers from all over Nigeria have benefited from the Red Star Express Plc “Scratch for Gift Offer” through their outlets across the country. “We are excited to be able to connect with our customers through the promo as it has availed us the opportunity to give back and say ‘thank you’ to them for their patronage and loyalty over the years.” said the Managing Director.

It is expected that more customers will participate in the Red Star Express Plc “Scratch for Gift Offer”.

Red Star Express “scratch for gift offer” is targeted at cash customers that send Domestic and International packages through Red Star Express offices nation-wide. Every customer qualifies to win an instant gift on their third transaction. Bumper gifts winners will emerge at the end of each promo month.

The winners all expressed their happiness at emerging the winners in the Red Star Express Plc “Scratch for Gift Offer”. They also thanked the company for coming up with such promo to reward their customers. The promo which commenced last November has also rewarded so many other winners with consolation prizes including T-shirts, notepads, pen, towels, etc.

Red Star Express Plc is a licensee of FedEx, the world leading air express company with over 650 aircrafts and more than 250 delivery destinations worldwide. FedEx has consistently been rated among the top 10 most admired companies in the world over the past 10 years.

Norton 360 Version 6.0 Earns Highest Marks for Protection and Performance

Norton by Symantec has announced their premium security suite: Norton 360 version 6.0, which has just earned top rankings for both protection and performance.

Norton 360 version 6.0 offers industry leading PC protection and top ranked performance. In recent third party tests, Norton 360 ranked first in overall real-world protection and remediation from AV-TEST Institute1 and received top performance scores from PassMark Software2.
Norton 360 version 6.0 highlights: Norton Identity Safe - Secures, remembers, and automatically enters user names and passwords while protecting users from online threats, Norton Management - Delivers advanced cloud-based functionality to manage select Norton products remotely for greater ease and control, Bandwidth Management - Limits non-critical Norton updates when connected to metered networks to avoid using up monthly data allotments or causing overage fees.

Improved Backup - Faster and easier back up capabilities and tracking

Pricing and Availability

Norton 360 version 6.0 can be installed on up to three PCs and is available for purchase from various retailers and the Norton online store at The suggested retail price is N10, 500 ($65) for the standard edition including 2GB of online storage space. The price includes a three PC license, a one-year subscription, Symantec’s protection updates and one full year of Norton’s best-in-class customer support. All Norton 360 users with a valid product subscription are eligible to download and use the latest product versions and updates, released during their subscription period. For more information, visit the Norton Update center at.

Monday 20 February 2012

Promasidor expands NASSMAC to accommodate more students across Nigeria

Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell milk, has expressed its commitment to continually push the limits of the National Secondary School Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC) in a bid to accommodate more students across the country.

Chief Keith Richards, managing director of the company disclosed this at a press briefing on the 12thedition of the competition in Lagos yesterday, remarking that this year’s edition promises to be very exciting and eventful.

He said it is the intention of the company to accommodate more students, more schools and to improve the quality of the examination processes across the 200 centres in Nigeria.

Richards said in a bid to realize this, the company would this year expand its communication reach across Nigeria to keep everyone informed and engaged through radio, television, online and press insertions throughout the duration of this competition.

“It is our belief that competitions like this will help our students to develop good study ethics that will have far reaching benefits to their academic and social life and will also generally improve human capacity development of the nation at large,” Richards said.

He therefore solicited the support, commitment and the passion of students, parents, teachers, educational bodies, various ministries of education, the media and all concerned stakeholders to join the company once again this year to search for diligent students who will take on this challenge and rise to the occasion through all the levels of tests to become the most outstanding students amongst their peers.

According to Richards, the NASSMAC has continued to experience remarkable national participation and in its last edition it recorded an impressive turn out of more than 34,000 students participating in the competition, which shows a consistent growth rate in the number of students who take the tests every year.

He said last year, they also enjoyed greater support from parents and other stakeholders in the education industry across the country such as ministries of education, government parastatals and other educational bodies.

Going down memory lane, the managing director recalled that over the years, Promasidor has been relentless in its commitment to this genuine nation-building initiative that has continued to enjoy great enthusiasm from the students, teachers, schools and the education industry.

He added that their enthusiasm has become an inspiration to ensure that this initiative continues to grow stronger in influence and deliver remarkable impact to the future of Nigeria.

He said it is a known fact that the task of nurturing the future leaders of a great country like nigeria cannot be left in the hands of government alone, adding that they also know that Mathematics is the bedrock of technological inventions and development and these facts, greatly underscore the significance of this competition.

The Promasiodr boss quoted Kofi Annan, the past United Nations Secretary General who once said, about Africa that “the future prospects of any nation lies in the present potential of its youth,”remarking that this captures the essence and importance of a competition such as NASSMAC which is a seed sown with huge promise of a fruitful future harvest for Nigeria.

He specially recognized the students who are the true torch-bearers for the future of the country and their ever growing commitment to Mathematics as well as their teachers who despite all odds and challenges in the educational system are relentless in their commitment to impart the necessary knowledge to their students.

Stakeholders Endorse Cowbell National Secondary School Mathematics Competition

Stakeholders in the education sector have endorsed the Cowbell National Secondary School Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC) instituted about 12 years ago by Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell milk.

The stakeholders gave the endorsement at the flag-off of the 12th edition of the competition in Lagos recently.

Lagos State Commissioner of Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye who commended Promasidor for the initiative also enjoined Mathematics teachers across the country to encourage their students to develop interest in the study of the subject rather than being afraid of it.

Oladunjoye who was represented by Mr. Semasa Sutton, a director in the Lagos State Ministry of Education also advised students not to be afraid of Mathematics, because it is like any other subjects.

Also speaking in the same vein, Mrs. O.O.Ajibade, a deputy registrar with the West African Examination Council (WAEC) commended Promasidor for the bold initiative of promoting the study of Mathematics in the country and asked other companies to take a cue from it.

She noted that Promasidor was by extension encouraging the study of science courses through the NASSMAC because Mathematics is one of the gateway subjects students need to move forward educationally.

In his contribution, Deacon Olusoji Adams, who represented Alhaji Babs Animashaun, the National Co-ordinator of the National Parents Teachers Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) appealed to other companies in the country to promote other subjects.

Explaining the rationale for the NASSMAC, Mr. Kachi Onubogu, Marketing Director of Promasidor Nigeria said the NASSMAC was instituted as a credible platform for identifying outstanding students and encouraging excellence among secondary school students in Nigeria.

He said the competition has rewarded many outstanding secondary school students across the country.

Describing the processes involved in participating in the competition, Onubogu stated that the competition is open to all students between 10 – 18 years of age in JSS3 and SS2, in any government approved schools in Nigeria.

“The competition is open to all students between 10 – 18 years of age in JSS3 and SSS2 attending full time secondary education in government approved schools in Nigeria.

“The best three students in both categories, i.e. junior and senior will be required to represent each school for this year’s edition. Schools who intend to participate can obtain forms from our website, or our headquarter or via our website.

“The forms must be properly filled, stamped and signed by the school principal and must be presented by the student to the officials at the examination centre on the examination day. We would ensure that students, teachers and schools are properly tutored on the mode of entry through our partners in the ministries of education, educational stakeholders and in the media”, he added.

Moreover, the first stage examination is billed to hold on Saturday, 17th of March 2011 in 200 centres across Nigeria. Emerging students with the highest scores in Junior and Secondary categories will make it to the second and final stage examination after which the national prize winner shall emerge.

According to Onubogu, the best three students in each category at the state level will receive N25, 000, N20, 000 and N15, 000 respectively, aside other branded gift items, for their outstanding performances at the first stage examination.

The Cowbell National Secondary Schools Mathematics Competition began in Lagos in 1998 and within two years, expanded to other states like Anambra, Kaduna, Plateau, Oyo and Imo. And in 2001, it became a national competition spreading across all the 36 states of the federation, including Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.

Microsoft Rolls out a Redesigned For Windows 8 Logo

Microsoft is getting ready for its big Windows 8 roll out later this year. The tech giant has decided to fully upgrade its OS, even the logo.

According to a release on the company's blog: "We have said that Windows 8 is a complete reimagination of the Windows operating system. Nothing has been left unexplored, including the Windows logo, to evaluate how it held up to modern PC sensibilities. The Windows logo is a strong and widely recognized mark but when we stepped back and analyzed it, we realized an evolution of our logo would better reflect our Metro style design principles and we also felt there was an opportunity to reconnect with some of the powerful characteristics of previous incarnations".

"We had a very short list of agencies that we wanted to work with on the redesign of the logo and were thrilled when Pentagram agreed to join us in the project. Pentagram’s illustrious history speaks for itself, but we were particularly attracted to their sense of classic graphic design which fit well with our Metro design principles."

Early in the development cycle for Windows 8, in a conference room on the Microsoft campus, we assembled a kick off meeting with Paula Scher, Michael Beirut and Daniel Weil from Pentagram and a few designers and marketing leaders from Windows and across the company. The team spent a full day sharing some of the Metro style design philosophy; the Windows brand history and values as well as graphic design and technology industry trends.

Olamide, Iceprince, Rayce Thrill Students as Etisalat Storm MAPOLY with Cliqfest

In an attempt to continuously show its appreciation and encouragement to its teeming customers across tertiary institutions in the country, Telecommunication Company, Etisalat through its Cliqfest initiative; recently stormed Moshood Abiola Polytechnic in the ancient city of Abeokuta, Ogun state.

The event was staged in partnership with the institution’s Student Union Government (SUG) and held from 3rd to 14th of February. It engaged the students of the prestigious institution in novelty football matches, motivational seminar and other sporting activities.

The glorious event also saw a ND2, Mass Communication student, Olanipekun Funmilola going home with an Etisalat branded car after a raffle draw at the last days of the event while several others won mobile phones, T-shirts and other prizes for themselves.

When accosted by the press on how she feel emerging as the car winner, she said: “I have never won anything life this before in my life. I never knew I was going to win the car so I’m so happy about this. I will be taking the car home to my parent and I am sure they will be so happy too.”

The visibly excited Olanipekun said thanked Etisalat for the opportunity. She stated that the experience will linger on for a long time in her mind.

Olamide, Iceprince and Rayce thrilled the mammoth crowd that besieged the Campus stadium. The artistes performed their top demand tracks such as ‘Eni duro’, ‘Super star’ and ‘Roll on’ respectively among others to the delight of the students danced and sing along with the artistes. The event was regarded as one of the biggest sponsorship activities held at the institution in recent time.

Thursday 9 February 2012

Four Nigerian Banks Make List Of Top 500 Brands in the World

Four Nigerian banks have been ranked among the best 500 brands in the world. The ranking which was carried out by a London-based company and published in The Banker named FirstBank of Nigeria Plc as the number one bank brand in Nigeria in its current Top 500 World Bank Brands Ranking.

In the Brand Finance ranking, FirstBank has the highest brand value in Nigeria at $170 million and is closely followed by Guaranty Trust Bank with $169 million. Zenith Bank has a brand value of $147 million with United Bank for Africa having a brand value of $121 million. The banks’ brands also did Nigeria proud as the country is among the World’s Top 50 by Total Brand Value by Country.

Nigeria leads the continent outside of Southern Africa. South Africa has a total brand value of $8,207 million followed by Nigeria’s $607 million with Morocco completing the Africa representation with $463 million.

According to a release by the Country Representative, Nigeria, The Banker, Mr. Kunle Ogedengbe, the publication that carried out the ranking in association with Brand Finance, First Bank came top amongst the Nigerian banks and was joined in the ranking by Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank and United Bank for Africa.

Apart from the four, no other Nigerian bank made the ranking.

Brand Finance Plc is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy with support for business needs in different areas including technical valuations for accounting, tax and legal purposes ; valuations in support of commercial transactions (acquisitions, divestments, licensing and joint ventures) involving different forms of intellectual property; and valuations as part of a wider mandate to deliver value-based marketing strategy and tracking, thereby bridging the gap between marketing and finance.

According to the Top 500 Bank Brands report, though there are numerous ways of calculating brand value, Brand Finance uses methods recognised by courts and tax authorities. The valuations of the brand take into account data on the whole financial group and brand-specific financial data. These are however broken down into different streams such as product lines and geographical locations. Brand Finance uses a royalty relief method that values the brand based on what would be paid to use the brand if it were owned by a third party.

This, according to the Global Transaction Services Editor of The Banker, Jane Cooper is a function of the woes in the wider economy. A position that is supported by the CEO of Brand Finance, Mr. David Haigh who said that the financial crisis “has thrown up the issue of the brands’ origin” and that “the ones that have maintained their reputation can be characterized by country”.

In the Top 500 World Bank Brands 2012, South Africa has ten banks, Nigeria has four banks and Morocco has two banks. Total global bank brand value is $746,752 million dollars with Africa contributing $16,283 million representing 2.18 per cent of the world’s total brand value. The amount shows a drop in world’s brands value which was $855,025 million in 2011.

The top ten bank brands in the world remain in Europe, Americas and Asia. The number one bank brand in the world is HSBC, domiciled in the United Kingdom. It is followed by Wells Fargo, Bank of America (both from the USA), Santander (Spain), Citi, American Express (both from the USA), BNP Paribas (France), Bradesco (Brazil) and China Construction Bank (China).

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Bacardi Ignites Its Customers Across the World As Its Celebrate 150th Anniversary

One of the world's famous family businesses, Bacardi Limited has officially commenced celebration of its 150th anniversary of the founding of the Company and the Bacardi rum brand on February 4.

Bacardi has begin Bacardi birthday parties and events around the world. One of the first parties was organized together with Rolling Stone magazine. ‘Bacardi Bash: 150 Years Rocking the Party’ in Indianapolis featured performances from LMFAO, Lupe Fiasco, Cobra Starship and Gym Class Heroes. The events continue throughout 2012 as Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Family-owned Bacardi Limited is celebrating its spectacular growth from a small distillery founded by Don Facundo Bacardí Massó in Santiago de Cuba in 1862 to what is now the world’s largest privately-owned spirits company.

Family members joined Bacardi Limited Chairman and great-great grandson of Company founder, Facundo L. Bacardi, in the planting of a coconut palm to commemorate the original ‘el coco’ that stood at the entrance of the first Bacardi distillery in Cuba and has long symbolized the Bacardi family’s perseverance over adversity. In addition, Puerto Rico Governor Luis G. Fortuno presented Bacardi with a proclamation declaring February 4 ‘Bacardi Day’ in acknowledgement of the Company’s key role in the island’s economy.

Bacardi fans can visit the brand’s Facebook page for a chance to win tickets to upcoming birthday parties and Bacardi party crates filled with all the ingredients to host their own gatherings.

MediaCom and LBi clinch Etihad’s global media accounts

MediaCom, part of the WPP group, has been selected to manage above-the-line media planning and buying. LBi has been selected to manage digital media strategy, search and affiliate marketing.

Both agencies will service the account globally from Abu Dhabi. The selection is an outcome of a routine agency review process during which Etihad Airways invited select global media agency networks to respond to a creative and media brief.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Etihad Airways is the fastest growing airline in the history of commercial aviation, so we sought out media agencies that can not only keep up with our pace of growth, but also help us bring our brand to a global audience in a more innovative and effective way.

“This is the first time we have split our ATL and digital media into separate contracts, which we elected to do simply to ensure that we are able to best leverage specialist agency strengths.”

Friday 3 February 2012

NCC to Bar Unregistered Subscribers in March, To Commences Number Portability In September

The Nigerian Communications Commission has disclosed that unregistered SIM cards in the country will be blocked in March.

According to Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC, Eugene Juwah the NCC is currently ongoing the data harmonization exercise with the mobile networks which is slated to be finalized in February. Unregistered subscribers will have their lines blocked 30 days after that.

“The SIM card data is currently being uploaded at NCC onto our backend servers. So, it is a huge effort. There are operators who have registered 40 million subscribers and there are some who have registered less. Therefore, it takes time to upload these heavy data" he said.

“We are about concluding the uploading, though, we are a little bit behind schedule. But there is nothing you can do when some of the operators are having difficulty in uploading the data. After the harmonization exercise, registered subscribers will be enrolled in an automatic verification exercise" he added.

Eugene also revealed that SIM registration is an ongoing exercise adding that Number Portability will take effect from September of this year. Portability is the innovation that allows mobile network subscribers to move from one Network provider to the other in a seamless manner and without changing telephone numbers.

Nike Basketball – Black History Month Collection

Nike Basketball presents the limited edition 2012 Black History Month collection, featuring the Kobe VII System Supreme, Zoom KD IV and LeBron 9.

All three shoes carry a dark grey base color, along with a signature graphic print made up of a rainbow of vivid colors inspired by international African culture, ranging from Kenyan beads to the Brazilian Carnivale to the Southern U.S.A. tradition of African-American quilt-making.

The shoes themselves represent three of the NBA’s best and brightest: the champion with five rings, the chosen one who for whom a ring seems all but inevitable, and the unassuming phenom who may just overtake them both. Look for all three styles to land at select Nike Basketball retailers, as well as, on February 11th.

Diamond Bank Launches Naija Diamonds Season 2

Diamond Bank has launched season 2 of Naija Diamonds, a documentary series focusing on 36 Nigerians and the impact their heroic exploits have on their communities and society-at-large.

According to the bank the aim behind this initiative is to unviel and celebrate world class Nigerians – Naija Diamonds, the back bone of this nation, whose qualities, lifestyle and values would serve as a standard for generations to come.

The show will be aired for 13 weeks on AIT (Fridays, 2130hrs) and Africa Magic (Saturdays, 1900hrs). Mo Abudu, popular host of Moments with Mo, is the producer of Naija Diamonds. According to her, “Naija Diamonds aims to showcase unsung heroes and world class Nigerians whose lifestyles and values serve as a standard for generations to come.

It is a celebration of Nigeria’s everyday people who have done something to change and positively challenge their situations. No one notices them, they are never celebrated by the media or the majority, but they exist. They are the people who stand up and take a positive stand. They are our unsung heroes (NaijaDiamonds).”

Naija Diamonds is one of our Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives as a bank and just like we did in the initial season of the programme, we would be showcasing 36 Nigerians whose lifestyle and qualities are worthy of emulation. These qualities mirror Diamond Bank’s core values of leadership, integrity, passion, accountability and competence and it is for this reason we have decided to partner with Inspire Africa once again.

Facebook Goes Public to Raise $5 Billion after the Celebration of Its 8th Birthday

After its 8th anniversary celebration which was held last Saturday, Facebook revealed it goes public with $5 billion IPO. It is expected to be Silicon Valley’s largest ever initial public offering, worth up to $100 billion when it goes public.

According to recent reports, the web investing boom could raise as much as $10 billion and value the social network between $75 billion and $100 billion. The IPO prospectus unveils interesting figures. Facebook says it has 845 million monthly active users, generated $3.71 billion in revenue and made $1 billion in net profit last year, up 65 percent from the $606 million it made in 2010.

First launched by Mark Zuckerberg for Harvard University undergrads, the site later opened up to other schools and gathered about 5 million members in just two years. Now, it has more than 800 million users worldwide and this is 40% of all Internet users. It’s expected to reach 1 billion members by August. It’s the number one most-visited site worldwide after Google.

Facebook raised interest among investors since its beginnings, but declined bids from various companies including Yahoo that offer a bid of $1.6 billion. It was very clever, because four years later, the company could be worth nearly 100 times that number.

Access Bank Finally Acquire Intercontinental Bank

Access bank has finally announce the acquisition of Intercontinental bank after securing all the regulatory, judicial and shareholder approval.

According to MD of Access Bank, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede: “The conclusion of this transaction is a significant step forward for the Nigerian banking sector; it has preserved thousands of Nigerian jobs and protected the savings of millions of Nigerian citizens.

“It brings together the proven prudential management of Access Bank and the extensive geographical footprint of Intercontinental Bank, with one of the largest networks of branches and Automated Teller Machines.”

CEO, Access bank stated the integration occurred well ahead of schedule due to the professionalism and competence of the management team.

However, many Nigerians are dissatisfied with the way the integration was carried out as reports filtered in last week that 1,500 staff on Intercontinental Bank were laid off. The combined entity has a total client base of 5.7 million customers, making it one of the largest banks in Nigeria.