FOOTBALL BOOM IN NIGERIA: Five Investment Opportunities That Can Yield Millions of Dollars For Your Business

Take up your "investment telescope" now and view the next five years or so. Just as Nollywood and the music industry has experienced exponetial growth in the last 8 years, so it will be with this extrapolation. I can tell you that the next big thing in Nigeria will be the football industry. Investment watchers like Godfrey Brown, CEO of Brawa Ltd said,  "Football industry in Nigeria is white and ready to explode. I'll not be shocked if it become the next big thing in Nigeria. The football industry has all the potenials to compete favorably with the telecoms in term of profitability..."  You may think Mr. Brown is exerggerating a bit, maybe he just came back from the moon and doesn't understand the realities on ground.

Presently, Nigeria football is in it's darkest period. Fans, Media and sponsors have all abandoned the league due to the ineptitude of government and administrators of the sport. There are no developmental plan for the growth of football in the country... so, what informed Mr. Brown's predictions? But he said, "In some of these challenges lies some great opportunities and any good investor could take advantage of the situation now to position his business as a market leader."

There are indications though, that President Goodluck Jonathan's regime may usher in the good tidings. Perhaps, the much cried about "football policy and full private participation will soon take off." The president has called up stakeholders to come together and discuss the way forward for football in Nigeria. Lagos state government has already taken initiative to organize seminars and bring in expertirates to help re-direct our football industry.

Smart and passionate investors are gradually positioning their business for the impending industry boom. There are viable areas where you can invest money and start adding value immediately.

1. TRAINING PERSONNEL (Administrators, Coaches, Referee...) : The challenges is not only about corruption in the system, it's more about square pegs in round holes. There are lots of loopholes to be covered. What we have today is more of passionate and committed administrators that lack technical competence and business management skills.

There is an urgent need to start training personnel to take over the administration of our football in the coming dispensation. We should complement the effort of Nigeria institute of sports.  Private organizations should start investing in the provision of trainings to bridge the gap in the quickest possible time.

2. DEVELOPING TALENT : Football talents are abound in Nigeria no doubt. You could find kids playing football everywhere across the country. But there arent  structure in place to "catch them young" and develop them for future business engagements.

School football is almost dead and we just have few football academies - Kwara state football Academy and Pepsi Academy. Organizations and institutions should start investing in providing Academies and tournaments. They should seek for foreign affiliations that can help groom the enamous talents we have in the country.

3. DATA CAPTURE: It's most glaring that Nigeria football industry as a whole lack data. There are no data capture machanism and storage for historical surveys, Age discrepancies verifications, Performance evaluation and customer targeting.

There is an urgent need for research companies to start investing along this line. Some businessmen can collaborate or acquire franchise abroad to set footballl research companies in Nigeria.

4. EVENT/ STADIUM MANAGEMENT: There are challenges when it comes to stadium maintenance in Nigeria. Government have a poor maintenance culture and we need some private organization to start investing along this line.

Another challenge is ambush marketing practise due to poor event management skills. This may be one of the reasons sponsors stay away from Nigeria football events. There is urgent need for investors to invest in football events/ stadium management to add value to the total packaging of the sport.

5. SPORT MARKETING: Apart from other equally important reasons, fans, media and sponsors abandon of the league could be attributed to lack of effective marketing. For any business to happen, we have to bring back the fans and get them to start patronizing Nigeria football.

There is urgent need for investors to invest in the marketing of Nigeria football. We need to identify the urgent needs of fans and anticipate how best to deliver Nigeria football to them and make profit out it.

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