Football Solutions: Five Ways To Increase Stadium Attendance at Nigeria Premier League Games

 By 2015, over one third of Nigeria Premier League (NPL) clubs today are likely to disband or perhaps, sold-off to another r state government or private enterprise. The present owners and management would have been too tired to the clubs. Take for instance, Bukola babes is on sale right now. Clubs like Abiola Babes, Leventis United, Calabar Rovers Stationery Stores…had all disbanded years ago.  Eagle Cement sold-off their club to Dolphin in Rivers State. Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu, owner of Iwuanyawu Nationale FC, had since handed over the club to imo state government and the name changed to Heartland FC. It has been the trend over the years.

The reason is NPL clubs are not profitable to manage. Well, most of the clubs depend on government funding. And when the economy is bad, government may not be able to give enough funds for the running of football clubs. Then, the club is affected – Players and coaches cannot be paid promptly, stadium facilities and training equipments get bad and there’s no money to repair or replace them, so most of the clubs remain in such comatose state.

The clubs themselves aren’t initiating  any marketing scheme – Stadium is empty, Media does not cover the matches – consequently, ticket sales are down, sponsors and advertisers are staying away and clubs could not breakeven to run themselves.

As you well know, Sponsorship and Advertisment is the life blood of any sport event. No club can survive without adequate sponsorship and advertising funds. And Sponsors and advertisers don’t just fund a sport event for the fun of it.

We should understand that sponsors and advertisers interest in any sport event is a derived demand, which means, organisations sponsors and advertise during sport events to get attention of the spectators and as well enjoy free media exposures. Therefore, if fans don’t attend matches at the stadium and media don’t give enough coverage of the league, definitely sponsors and advertisers wouldn’t spend big money on that event.

It’s time management of NPL Clubs understand the crux of the business. It is the responsibility of any enterprise to sell their products and services to their target markets. Each club should start to invest largely on marketing their services to fans. Nothing hood happens to any enterprise until  a sale is made. Only when a club is able to attract large number of spectators and adequate media coverage that sponsors and advertisers can come with large amount of funds to better the lots of the clubs as well as the league. They can increase attendance to their games in the following five ways:

Start Marketing to Fans:  Management of NPL clubs should get up from the arm chair and go out to sell to fans. They must increase awareness for their products and services as well as persuade fans to attend their matches. They should give out fliers, brochures, write more article targeted to fans, Give away match guides and fixtures etc.

 Start Fans Loyality programs:  Management of NPL clubs should start fans loyalty sales promotional schemes. Award prizes such as free tickets, give away Jerseys, Caps, Mufflers at the stadium. Organize fan competition and bettings for big wins during the match.

Clubs should create fans fun fair before any major match, invite musicians and mascots display, and such fun fair should be well advertise before the match day.

Start Corporate Social Responsibility Programs:  Management of NPL clubs should be involved in societal development programs such as Charity works, Medical research/ treatment of some terminal diseases, Educational funding or Youth development programs. Such programs bring about afinity and support from the people in your business environment.

Provide More Information To The Media:  NPL clubs should have a pro-active PRO or Media officer that can easily liase with the media and provide more information about the players, transfer market, results, management policies etc.
A club’s media officer/ PRO should regularly organize press conferences before and after each match, where the media could get direct reactions from players, coaches or other club officials or issues concerning the club.

Well, if the management doesn’t have the personnel or expertise to handle the club’s marketing, they could as well contact GreenHunters Sports International to help them implement detailed marketing programs that would bring tremendous growth and profit for the club.


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