SEARCHING FOR A PROFITABLE FOOTBALL NICHE MARKET? –Check out 7 Untapped Goldmines in Nigeria

 Most football related businesses in Nigeria cluster around one segment of the market. So  your small business may find it difficult to survive the keen competition that surround the consumers of English premier league (EPL) and other European football in Nigeria. This is  the large field where big players like Dstv sell satellite decoders, SuperSports own the TV rights, Bet365 dominate the pool, traders at Mandilas run the merchandize business, importing Jersey and other memorabilia from China.

This days the trend for small businesses is to go for isolated segment of the market. They adopt ‘niche strategy’ to stay profitable. What you are searching for is a portion of the football market in Nigeria that you can identify as having less competition and profit potentials that’s worth marketing to.

 However, it is important that the isolated portion of the market must be identifiable, accessible and responsive. For example, Gay and Lesbian football market is now hot in many countries around the world. The taboo market is identifiable and very responsive with high profit potentials. Yet, it isn’t an accessible market in Nigeria. It can’t be a legal niche for any sport business in this country.

Nigeria football market has a lot of opportunities. The market is so large, highly fragmented and heterogeneous that it is so easy to find an untapped goldmine. While I will show you here 7 fields where you can search for a niche, it is your responsibility to dig out the gold. It largely depend on your passion and ability to did deep. Your niche should arise naturally from your interest, skills and experience.

There are two ways to find a niche:
First, Search for an isolated portion of the football market that big companies aren’t bothered with. Imagine if you have worked for years with a kiddies boarding school and you have also been trained as a football coach, you may naturally decide to start a kiddies football holiday camp. Your niche may be to target say, ‘ Apapa  - Lagos kids of working class parents, with a family income of N150, 000 and above.’ This is an isolated football market  for working class parents that need  to keep their kids in safe hands during holidays. They are more willing to pay the fees.

Second,  create your own product with an eye on a specific segment of the football market. A niche may arise in the market as the product begin to appeal to an isolated group of consumers. Imagine that you developed a software: ‘Teach Yourself Football App’ that can play on various PC and mobile devices. Though, you may generally target kids, but a niche may arise among say kids from the upper – middle class with a family income of N250, 000 and above. This are the kids that can afford the devices needed to play the software.

1.      Kiddies Football Market is largely an untapped goldmine in Nigeria. There are lot of product lines you could consider to fill: Kiddies after school football club, Kiddie football aparels, football comic magazines, games…

2.      Football Education is another goldmine that is untapped in Nigeria. Most football practitioners are not formally trained in football education. Apart from Nigeria Institute of Sports (NIS), there’s no professional football institute that offers courses like, Sport business management,  Sport Marketing, Scouting, Player Agency, PR and Media officers. Some Universities and Polytechnics may decide to take acreditations for these courses and begin to offer them.

Some other area you may consider to fill a niche are, Research and Data base collation business, Football textbook publications and authorship…

3.      School Football was once a very vibrant segment of the football market in Nigeria. It has since been abandoned due to lack of creativity on the part of football business industry. There are opportunities to develop football products for high school and University consumption.

4.      Women Football is indeed waiting for football business entrepreneur(S) that can unearth the potentials of this segment of the market in Nigeria. Judging from what is happening in places like USA, Germany, China… Women football could be another goldmine that have been left fallow.

5.      Grassroots football is yet another segment that requires more creativity from sports businesses. There are more talents to uncover. Products like Talent hunt TV reality show, Trial camps, Coaching clinics, Player transfer operations, remain hot in Nigeria football market.

6.      Beach Football is another kind of football with a lot of entertainment and fun. Considering it carnival nature, beach football is one place small business could find a niche. The party, carnival, music and event management are all product lines where you can find a profitable niche.

7.      European football in Nigeria still have some areas where small businesses could strife. Viewing centers, Retailing merchandizing, Betting Agent… can still be a goldmine for any creative sport business entrepreneur.

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