Benson Chukwueke Benson Chukwueke Author
Title: FOOTBALL BUSINESS IN NIGERIA: Addressing the 4 Questions That Really Matters
Author: Benson Chukwueke
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 Nigeria Football Administrators  Without exception, the people I've spoken to, don’t in anyway believe that Nigeria f...


Nigeria Football Administrators

Without exception, the people I've spoken to, don’t in anyway believe that Nigeria football can be business friendly in the next 10 years or so! Perhaps, Alice Aggrey, an investment manager with Future View Inc. interviewed me with the mindset of dissuading me from making any further investment in Nigeria football. She believes I am wasting my time and money.






I decided to post these four insightful questions she asked, so readers may probe for themselves the viability of Nigeria football:





Q1: Corporate sponsorship is the bedrock of football business anywhere in the world. Why are corporate sponsors not attracted to invest in Nigeria football?



A1. It's about not having an enabling environment that protects the interest of private sponsors. It doesn't mean Nigeria football itself is not attractive.



Truly, there are lots of administrative issues that needed to be addressed. We could see it from a different angle. The challenges today are indications that Nigeria football is evolving. Sometimes we need such shakings to get things to fall in place.



Investors aren't adverse to Nigeria football. Corporate sponsors are still investing in the sport, maybe not in Nigeria Premier League (NPL) or the Federations cup. Brands are coming up with their own tournaments and football programs: Copa Coca-Cola, Guilder five aside, Pepsi beach soccer, Glo dream team reality TV show...



There are many corporate brands that would always rely on football sport to reach their customers more effectively in Nigeria. Companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, MTN, Glo, Guinness, Guilder, Milo, and Bournivta... are still looking at profitable ways to invest in Nigeria football.





Q2: You seem to have so much confidence in Nigeria football. What gives you such audacity to keep investing in such a precarious football business?



A2. Some investors only invest in short term opportunities, but I see more as an agent of change. We cannot move the business of football forward dwelling on the negative: corruption, power struggle and mediocrity. We must look for more excellent ways.



There are clear indications that Nigeria football business can be viable. Football is the number one sport in Nigeria and a very passionate source of entertainment for the people. Nigeria has over 80 million football fans and consumers worth billions of Dollars.



We also have a reservoir of football talents. Churchill Oliseh, a very renowned player manager in Nigeria, estimated that talents in Nigeria are worth billions of dollars. IFFHS in July 2012, ranked Nigeria league as the best in Africa and 24 in the world. These are clear indications of a potentially viable industry. What we require now is an enabling business environment.



Nigeria Premier League





Q3: …with your analysis, demand for football is high and we have talents to satisfy them. So what is stopping Nigeria football from flourishing?



A3. The administrators of the sport haven't conceived it as a possible economic driver. Football in the country is managed largely as a not-for-profit venture. The major impediment is government stronghold of the sport. Government should be convinced to hands-off football sponsorship and administration to the private sector.



Second, stakeholders should quickly come up with a well articulated football policy that must be executed to the later.



There should be intensive training of personnel to take over administrations at the next level. Then, we should invest largely on aggressive marketing of Nigeria brand of football to attract fans and other consumers' patronage back.





Q4: So what is the Status quo? What are stakeholders doing presently to establish the business side of the sport?



A4: President Goodluck Jonathan has set up a committee with terms of reference to reform Nigeria sports in general and football in particular. Asaba Sports Summit is currently going on. Hopefully, the committee will come up with the right reports. Government may soon allow a more private participation in the business of the sport.




Some foreign organizations like Soccerex, Sports Business Inc. have already positioned themselves in the Nigerian market. Soccerex signed a 5years memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Lagos state government. In their first ever business seminar, Soccerex brought in some football expatriates like David Dein, vice chairman of English Premier League (EPL), to proffer the way forward for football business in Nigeria.


Benson Chukwueke, CEO, GreenHunters Sports International

 Greenhunters Sports International is already positioned as a leading marketing consultancy firm. We promote Nigeria football through our blog publications and providing various tools for administrators, Club managers, Youth development... We strongly believe that football can become a major wealth creator and employer of labor in Nigeria.

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  1. I certainly believe that soon, football will get a new dawn: http://www.checklistmag.com/2014/11/sponsorship-bane-of-nigerian-football.html

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