Thursday, 14 February 2013

AFCON win presents Nigeria N20bn business opportunities

Advertising agencies, printers, the players, coaching staff and a host of football related businesses will enjoy a slice of the windfall valued at over N20 billion following Nigeria’s third winning of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) last weekend in South Africa.
Brand experts confirm to BusinessDay that the opportunities are huge. They say the economic effect will be felt well into 2015 when the country defends the title in Morocco. One analyst estimates the win could add as much as 0.10 percentage points to annual growth from increased consumer spending.

The team already is boosting spending, with Nigerian billionaire and Africa’s fifth richest man, Mike Adenuga donating $1 million to them and $200,000 to the coach, Stephen Keshi, for the win. Similarly, Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, had earlier given them N130million for reaching the final of the event.
The official prize money for Nigeria from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for winning the coveted cup, was $1.5 million.
“Calculating the possible sign-on fees by foreign teams, local production of jerseys, almanacs, pens and other brand gifts, the business opportunity will definitely run into billions of Naira,” says Tola Bademosi, the managing director of BD Consult.
With the win, which comes 19 years after the country last won it in Tunisia, Nigeria will face Tahiti, Uruguay and world champions, Spain in Group B of the Confederations Cup in Brazil in June. It is also expected that more countries will like to engage the Super Eagles in friendly matches to tune up. Business leaders say this has the potential of injecting some measure of confidence into the economy, with a possible net benefit of over a $100 million.
Lanre Adisa, the CEO of Noah’s Ark creative agency, who echoed the huge financial gain for the country, told BusinessDay that a lot of brand owners will leverage on the win to advance their brands, by signing on some of the players as brand endorsements. “But the win should be well managed to attract the gains,” Adisa added.
Other brand experts who assessed the win described it as an opportunity for Nigerian authorities to rejuvenate the Nigerian brand which has suffered much bashing in the past. According to John Ehiguese, the CEO of Media Craft, a PR agency based in Lagos, the win has taken Nigeria’s brand equity to greater heights and this is in contrast to negative news Nigerians and the world community are used to hearing about the country.
Expressing delight on the achievement recorded with some local talents, Ehiguese advised the government to employ the winning platform to further re-project the Nigeria brand.
The CEO of Absolute PR, Akonte Ekine, said now that sports has aided or influenced the Nigerian consumer on the brand Nigeria, it would be wise to revisit one of the tools of nation building or branding.
He recalled that the interesting twist to the story is the fact that the coach, Steven Keshi, at one point in the history of Football was considered a bad boy and suspended, which led to him going outside to play professional football in Ivory coast. This marked the mass movement of Nigerian footballers to play professional abroad.
The Nigeria brand is a combination of determination, perseverance and encouragement and what is projected mostly is the hand of the handlers who are also the consumers. He said the world will only see what we celebrate through our activities,”
According to him, the victory of the Eagles is an evolving story from various angles, from public administration, through policy formulation, as well as individualistic aspirations, against the initial hopeless postulations of soccer pundits; the team came out stronger, better and ultimately became the best of team, through sheer self promise of excellence and a dream seen on by the coaching team.
“So, if leaders could step back on the subject of nation building and create the atmosphere of believability in the dream of excellence which, is what Keshi and his team did, and work hard to achieve, it will then be on a journey of progress”.
He quoted the minister of sports as saying that they were not expecting anything fantastic from the team, as there was no goal or challenge to get anywhere, but he said the team believed in themselves and got result.
Akonte believes that Nigerians will only be happy to associate with the brand Nigeria concept from the point of seeing reason to believe in the brand from the activities of the leaders.
“The case here is that we all want excellence and the fact that excellence has no relationship with tribe, race or religion, we all are in a happy state with the result of the Eagles, therefore if we must grow or drive the brand Nigeria dream rightly, one of the core substances of the initiative will be to promote excellence as a strong pillar of Nigeria through smart and intelligent work”.
Culled from BusinessDay

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