The next person you will meet on your way down the road in Nigeria may be a football fan. Discussing football at the airport, bus park or restaurant is the easiest way to grab attention, especially with the guys out there. Oh yeah, you can easily get into heated argument that may even result to fight.
In most cities in Nigeria, football followers cluster in viewing centers , sport bars, Newspaper vendors stand, football pitches, I guess stadiums and may be cyber cafes. And you dare not open a Can of worms if you do not already know the different characteristics of the different kinds of football fans and how they are divided among the most supported teams in the country. Did I hear you say Chelsea ! or Man-U?
It is important for Sport Marketers to understand not only fans demographics, but also psycho-graphic variables to enable them proffer the right marketing solutions. At the various centers, you are likely to meet all kinds of football fans and I would like to help you identify four major ones.
The football fanatic is the most dangerous and yet the most profitable group among football fans in Nigeria. He so passionately support a team more like a die-hard aficionado. He is both physically and emotionally involved.
He does not miss any of the games played by his favorite team. He purchases most of the teams merchandised items: Jersey, Mophlers, plague, Pin-ups, Journals…
Their mood is very predictable; happy when their team is winning and emotionally downcast whenever they lose. And he can start a fight if you try to taunt him in anyway when his team is losing. This fan can only be approached when his team is victorious and can declare free for all booze in such occasion.
The football gambler is more or less like the fanatic in response to match situations. Perhaps, as dangerous because his money is involved.
The gambler is always at the edge of his seat as he watch the match or follows the live score of the different teams he placed his bet on.
Although, they have little or no real passion for the game or for a team, but are just concerned about the odds or formula that can help them win some cash. They do not as much care and could even bet against their favorite team if the odds are right for them.
Apart from betting with bookmakers, they could also bet one-on-one with fellow fans and if they end up losing it may result to violent attack on one another.
The’ football encyclopedia’ knows most everything about the game . They are like ‘google’ of football. They can tell you everything about any club’s records and statistics: how many trophies, goals per player(s), transfer news… just name it.
They read voraciously and watch all kinds of football matches. They are ready to purchase any football material; you can find them each morning at the vendors stand and each evening at viewing centers.
In fact, they live, eat and sleep football. They are ready to watch a football match even in their enemy’s house.
The neutral fan is neither passive or active. They just love watching and enjoying good football and can be very objective when analyzing any match. If you ask them the team they support, their response will be “I support any winning team”
They are more likely to select the games they go to watch. They are not likely to put their money on betting or purchase any team’s merchandise.
Sure, this class of fans can make good football commentators and analysts, but they can easily separate themselves when the discussion is leading towards heated arguments.