GreenHunters Sport Marketing Review.

It’s no secret. Go to the newspaper vendor stand anywhere in Nigeria, by merely flipping through the pages of most sports newspapers you will quickly observe that the publishers report more of European football news, especially English Premier League (EPL). 

Perhaps, only half a page or at most one full page will be devoted to the domestic leagues. I am talking about Glo Premier League, Nigeria National League and Nigeria nationwide league combined, reported in just one page.

I don’t know how scarce the news about our domestic football leagues can be, but China Acheruo, Media officer of Dolphin FC, Port Harcourt said: “A lot of the sports newspapers in Nigeria don’t have the capacity to cover the domestic leagues and to undertake in-depth investigations of events, matches, players and other key factors surrounding the leagues. They mostly depend on media officers and some contacts they may have in clubs, to make up their reports.”

“On the other hand, EPL management has properly used satellite TV to build a brand that attracts such large global audience. The success of EPL in Nigeria could be attributed in part, to the aggressive drive of the brand into Nigerian homes and by extension viewing centers through DSTV and such broadcast TV stations as SuperSports, ESPN, BBC, Sky Sports… Therefore, it’s easier for journalists to sit back on their desk and get all EPL news at real time via satellite TV. The domestic league doesn’t have such robust television and other media coverage.” Acheruo explained.

 Oluseun Adeyemo, publisher of Arsenal Focus tabloid said: “EPL have a large fan base in Nigeria and our publication is to meet their needs and wants. Over time, football fans in Nigeria have developed such unquenchable love for EPL and other European leagues. Take for instance, if you combine all the supporters of all the domestic clubs in Nigeria, they may not even compare in numbers to fans of Arsenal alone. Arguably, Manchester united and Chelsea may have more fans in this country. As you know, sports publications is all about how many people your newspaper can effectively reach.” Adeyemo concluded.

“Well, if you want to remain in Sports publication business in Nigeria for a long time, then you must learn how to give the public what they want to read.” Ade Ojekiere, Editor of Sports Day, explained.

“Nigeria football fans are interested more in EPL and other European leagues. They are the ones that patronize sports newspapers and in that premise influences which newspaper(s) advertisers may choose to place their adverts. We’re talking about your business bottom line here. It appeared that sports journalists gave the public what they wanted to see and read.” Ojekiere declared.

“The domestic league doesn’t meet the utility level of the average Nigerian football fan, which is very much exposed to the spectacles of EPL. For instance, Glo Premier League scares off spectators from attending the games, in large part because of poor public image, resulting from match fixing, stadium hooliganism and harassment… Muminu Alao, Editor in Chief, Complete Sports newspapers, explained.

The other part is the mass flight of players from the domestic leagues. Any good player in Nigeria, may soon travel abroad to ply his career. This may be due to poor remunerations and players welfare, resulting to poor general performances and low standard of the entire league.

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