People get over zealous about these things. While driving into Eko Atlantic Beach today, I saw a Man almost dressed like a clown. He had Chelsea attire from head to toe... A baracu hat, jersey, muffler and a pair of blue pants...
There he was, promoting an English Premiership brand in the middle of a Sponsored event - COPA LAGOS beach soccer tournament - not even realizing he was doing branding work!
So I went to Shoprite, and there was a family walking proudly on the side walk along the shops, a husband, the wife and two kids all in Arsenal's Red and White attire. "Yes, I’m a Gunner," the man declared, using his hands to pull the trigger on me.
Take a drive or a walk and look at all promoting European football brands in Nigeria. People who may love to be a season ticket holders, but more often than not are lucky if they can afford to travel all the way to England to attend even one game a year. Yet they passionately promote your brand because they love the club so dearly. These are your walking billboards moving about every day.
So how can we manage this free branding Interfering with Sponsored program events all over Nigeria?
LASSA for one, bills corporate organizations in Lagos who brand clothes and distribute them to either their staff or general public to act as walking BillBoards for them. But yet, the advertising regulatory body cannot stop people putting on branded European football jerseys on the road or in the city malls...even though they are interfering with stationary billboards and signposts.
There are many cases... Curson incharge of the sponsorship event went on a futile fight to stop a group of about 20 or more young teenagers putting on Manchester United attire, branded "Chevrolet"... from entering into the GTBank sponsored Principal Cup arena in Lagos state...
Well, they couldn't stop them because they were not the only culprits. There were spate of spectators all over the stadium putting on different European clubs branded shirts, so what was the justification for barring these teengers?
Yet, their act was terribly disrupting the maximum exposure of GTBank orange shirts at that match?. It is Ambush Marketing! Though, it wasn't the European clubs themselves that orchestrated the invasion.
We have even seen a worst scenario, where a Nigeria national team coach breach the sponsorship agrreement with Nike; by putting on a competing brand - adidas T-shirt during a live match... that single act caused NFF the contract.
The issue is this, LASSA or any other regulatory body in Nigeria haven't found a way of managing these branded European merchandise, yet it is not legal to arrest or stop anyone putting on such branded jersey on the streets
Ok, let's look at it from another angle... These fans are the people promoting your brand in Nigeria, free of charge without anything in return, because they love the club. Everyday, they are your club's walking billboards without you reckoning how they are contributing to the popularity and global expansion of the brand... to give them some recognition at least..
So we said in GreenHunters Sports International, Why not start a CAUGHT IN THE ACT promotion... that will build your brand year round and keep it on top of mind? A promotion that will engage fans on social media? A promotion that will reward fans and enable us to use our ‘free’ smartly? And get the clubs to send them free trips and tickets to some of their special games in Europe.
The point I'm making is this, most of these top European clubs receive hundreds of million dollars in Shirt Sponsorship, yet fans promote the brands free of charge all over Nigeria. We are in the campaign of either getting these clubs to pay some kind of royalty to Nigerian government or at least reward the fans for their good work. Nothing Goes for Nothing!