Trading on clubs’ wares weren’t a hot business most Nigeria traders would like to venture into, not until the early 21st century, when merchandizing and memorabilia business began to open up. Thanks to satellite technology that changed the football landscape in Nigeria. Fans now have access to football events all around the world.
Interestingly, the new found technology changed the Nigeria media and consequently fans - who threw over board “made in Nigeria football” and are excitingly courting English Premier League (EPL) and UEFA Champions’ League (UCL). In fact, the average football fan in Nigeria today, is in love with European football.
Fans now go to viewing centers instead of stadium to watch the EPL and UCL games. They’re passionately buying and parading themselves with Jersey, Muffler, band, cap and memorabilia such as Pictures and logo frames or plaque, autographs and other special souvenirs.
Suddenly, the demand for the wares of top European clubs has become so hot. Its opened up opportunities for lots of football fans in Nigeria, who has already ventured into the business that is churning in Millions of Naira each year.
The market is very large and attractive said Ezeugo Emmanuel - the owner of Mandy sports shop in Mandilas market Lagos Island. Be it as it may, the market itself is very volatile and only traders who are informed of the secrets of the business do succeed.
Learn all the Secrets of Merchandising Business in Nigeria
The business is good for football fans and ardent followers of EPL and UCL. This is because these two European leagues drive the business and always give it the direction it will take at any point in time during the football season. It involves predictions. If you make the wrong predictions you tie down your money and sometimes you may outright loose all your money, especially when a top club change their jersey and sponsors. The stocks in your hand become outdated.
4 Factors you must consider to Succeed in the Business
1. Structure and Size of the Market
You should understand how the market is structured. The fans are your customers and the clubs that has the most supporters in your area determines what merchandizing items you will stock. Dele Bello owner of Flenjo sports research club in Victoria Island gave us insight of the market. He said “Manchester United alone top the ranking of the most supported club in Nigeria, with an estimate of about 10 million fans across the country, followed by Chelsea with about 9.2 million fans. At the third position is Barcelona with about 6 million fans. Then, among Arsenal, Liverpool, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Bayern Munich share about 10 million fans. The market total size is about 40 million football fans across the nation.
In your stocking plan and forecast, you must consider these three top supported clubs – Man Utd, Chelsea and Barcelona.
2. Top Performing clubs in the on-going football Season
The structure of the market does change again and again based on the on going trend. The clubs that is among the first five in the EPL, La’Liga, Seria’A league tables and doing well in UCL will get their supporters to buy more of the merchandize.
You should watch carefully how these leagues are going before you order your stock. You may consider past records, the present crop of players in each club and who is the present coach of these clubs.
3. Top Performing Players in the on-going football Season
Fans like to associate with success and players that are in current form do get all the attention. Players like Lionel Messi, Christiano Rolnado, Wayne Rooyne are household names in Nigeria. Children as well as some adult fans want to be like them. So they go ahead to buy the Jersey with their names and numbers on them. Dele Bello said Lionel Messi’s Jersey alone sold over 5 million units in Nigeria 2010/2011 season. Christian Rolnado and Wayne Rooyne sold 1.5 million and 1 million units respectively.
You must also predict top players’ form when making your stocking plans. Many trader prefer to order plain Jerseys and may customize them, as players’ performances become evident in the season.
4. Top Rate Fixtures
Top rate fixtures such as the UEFA Champions’ League Finals, between Manchester Untied VS Barcelona are the best timing to make the final sales for the season. The media will so hype such matches that fans emotions will get to crescendo and they will go about buying the two clubs’ merchandize. Remember that Manchester united and Barcelona has about 16 million fans in Nigeria. You can just exploit the opportunity and other top rate fixture in the future.
You should stock the two Clubs’ merchandize before hand and make sure fans find them available in your shop.
Source of the Merchandised Items
The merchandized items are imported from Europe and China.
The original Jersey is imported from Europe. Fans can buy them online at www.amazon.com or the club website such as www.manutd.com
As a trader you can work out a reseller/referral deal with amazon.com or ebay.com or a joint venture deal with the club marketers.
The challenge is the original souvenirs are expensive and the average Nigeria fan cannot afford them. Original Man United jersey cost between NGN12, 000 to NGN15, 000. Though, the original brands have considerable market size in the high brow areas in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.
The fact is replica souvenirs from China sell more. A replica jersey cost between NGN1, 500 to NGN2, 500. Though, you have some lower quality ones that cost about NGN600 to NGN1, 000. More fans can afford them.
As a trader you can make order through www.chinatrade.com or you may as well plan a trip to China. If you’re just starting out with low capital you can buy from large importer in Mandilas market Lagos.