Corporate interest in the Africa Cup of Nations is soaring after sports good manufacturer Umbro became the latest company to sign up as a sponsor of the competition.
The English sportswear and football equipment supplier was on Wednesday unveiled as the exclusive ball supplier for next month's tournament in Egypt.
As the exclusive ball partner, Umbro will supply the CAF with the top-level Neo Pro ball.
FIFA certified to be used at the highest level of the game, the Neo Pro features a textured Teijin Microfibre outer casing for durability, accuracy and true flight dependability.
It also has a five-layer construction with a latex bladder for a consistent bounce, and a hand-stitched 14-panel design with sealed seams to ensure zero water absorption.
“The Neo Pro ball is beautifully designed. The bounce is consistent, and the textured outer casing gives you excellent feel and accuracy,” said Darren Keet, South Africa goalkeeper and Umbro sponsored player.
"I’m excited to be a part of the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 and can’t wait to use the new ball at the tournament.”
Umbro becomes the fourth global company to have come on board to sponsor the Africa Cup of Nations since Ahmad Ahamd took charge of CAF two years ago.
Earlier this month, German tyre manufacturers Continental joined Visa, 1Xbet to swell the number of sponsors to six after headline sponsors Total and telecoms company Orange.
A raft of reforms introduced since Ahmad took charge ensured the expansion of the competition from 16 to 24 teams while the tournament was shifted to avoid clashes with European clubs.
Umbro have taken advantage of this new lease of life in African football and have decided to join the growing nubmer of companies showing interest in African football
The tournament will be played for the first time throughout June and July with 24 nations competing.