As a football marketing practitioner I think I should know better than most people that what worked in Nigerian football league years ago may well be old hat today. For instance, the real fans of Enugu Rangers and 3 Sc, the two oldest teams in Nigeria, may now be veterans and may find it difficult to go to the stadium at their age, to watch matches.
In the 70’s, you would have to be at the stadium if you want to view any game live. There was only one network radio station, Voice of Nigeria, which ran live audio commentaries. NTA Network only broadcast a delayed telecast called “match of the Week.”
Then in the 90’s, Cable TV (Pay per View) became popular and fans now have choices in their home to view matches from around the world. Then, the English Premiership with its media razzmatazz caught the fancy of fans in Nigeria and began to gain grounds in the mind of the people, as a result crowd at Nigerian stadiums began to thin out.
Yet, the administrators didn’t find it necessary to re-invent or modify the league. They didn’t strike relevant TV right deals with a cable network to promote the league. So it brought us to where we are today, playing matches in empty stadiums.
This is the reason for writing, to help us understanding the lifestyle of today’s youth often referred to as the millennial generation, how they prefer to consume football.
The psychographic analysis may have shown that football fans are fast moving away from Cable TV and are more interested in the internet.
League Management company (LMC) should start responding by focusing on building a millennial sensitive league that will be attractive to a whole new generation of fans.
The new generation of fans (the millennial people) love real time, they love multi-screen, they love speed and anything digital. They are always on the go and love to subscribe to experience firsthand with videos and just-in-time communications.
By this, I mean LMC should be more sensitive to providing millennial friendly features, which definitely focuses on digital: Virtual reality experiences, Streaming live matches to phones, real time data generation on Social media and get fans wired up in a smart stadium.
For instance, setting up free WI-Fi in the stadium arena can become an impetus that will be attractive to the new generation of fans. Building a team of content developers that will blog NPFL matches real time; create a Hash tag on twitter where fans can log on to comment and interact with extended fans around the world.
LMC should create a multi-media department that will produce match highlights and post them on YouTube. So fans and journalists can access the video or information real time.