The Nigerian football league has huge potentials of becoming a major money-spinner if it receives the right kind of publicity and investment. Nigeria has a large number of football lovers who are fans of foreign football clubs. Football has become part of the culture, so we might as well use it to our advantage by creating stars out of our local league, taking advantage of digital media. There is no doubt that there is talent in Nigeria, it is all about the narrative which can be rewritten by creating the right brand, hype and access.
Problem: Poor performance of the Nigerian Professional Football League.
Beneficiary: NFF, League Management Company, State and Federal Government
Proposed by: Tomi Orunmuyi
Idea Status: Pitch
HOW DOES IT WORK?
My proposition is quite simple.
Privatize the government owed football clubs by selling them to the richest people in Nigeria. This would raise a lot of eyebrows and attract the attention of Nigerians- the perfect publicity stunt. Most importantly, it is an appeal to the patriotism of the wealthy folk who are very capable of capitalising on the opportunities in the local league. Offers such as Tax holidays, Lease deals on government owned stadia for club matches should also be presented.
The table below is a proposal for the sale of 17 state-owned football clubs with the corresponding prices and hopeful buyers. This sale, if successful, will generate about $50 million.
|s/n||Individual||Football club||Football stadium||Capacity||Price|
|1||PRIVATE||MFM F.C||Agege Stadium||4,000|
|2||PRIVATE||FC Ifeanyi Ubah||Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium, Anambra||3,000|
|3||PRIVATE||GO Round F.C||Krisdera Hotel Stadium||1,000|
|4||Mohammed Indimi||El-Kanemi||El-Kanemi Stadium, Maiduguri||10,000||$2M|
|5||Folorunsho Alakija||Enyimba||*Enyimba International Stadium||25,500||$9M|
|6||Tony Elumelu||Abia Warriors||Umuahia Township Stadium||5,000||$2M|
|7||Jim Ovia||Akwa United||Uyo Township stadium||5,000||$2M|
|8||Cletus Ibeto||Heartland F.C||Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri||10,000||$2M|
|9||Aliko Dangote||Kano Pillars F.C||Sani Abacha Stadium||25,000||$5M|
|10||Hajia Bola Shagaya||Katsina United||Katsina Stadium||5,000||$2M|
|11||Femi Otedola||Kwara United F.C||Kwara Stadium||18,000||$2.5M|
|12||Abdusalam Rabiu||Lobi Stars F.C||Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi||20,000||$3M|
|13||Tunde Folawiyo||Nasarawa United F.C||Lafia Township Stadium||5,000||$2M|
|14||Benedict Peters||Niger Tornadoes||Minna Township stadium||5,000||$2M|
|15||Bryant Orijiako||Plateau United||Pam Stadium, Jos||15,000||$2.5M|
|16||Igho Sanomi||Rivers United||Liberation Stadium, PH||30,000||$3M|
|17||Pascal Uzoma Dozie||Enugu Rangers||Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu||22,000||$5M|
|18||Mike Adenuga||Sunshine Stars F.C||Akure Township Stadium||15,000||$3M|
|19||Orji Uzor Kalu||Wikki Tourist F.C.||Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi||15,000||$2.5M|
|20||Jimoh Ibrahim||Yobe Desert Stars F.C||Damaturu Township Stadium, Yobe||5,000||$2M|
*Enyimba owns its own stadium which explains the additional cost.
On completion of the sales, revenue generated should be used for the following
Set up League TV- Studio, Cameras, Staff- Not NTA quality. Ebony life, Arise TV, Soundcity kind of quality. This would involve 4-10 camera coverage of football matches, pre-match interviews, warm up and post-match reviews, Video profiling of players for in-depth reviews, high-end Motion graphics ,etc
- Reality show about players- Nigerians love reality shows that involve life changing prize money. BB Naija is a great example of how successful reality shows can be
- Fan engagement via social media
- League lottery- to get more people involved and talking
- Involve Nollywood & Afro pop stars as ambassadors, half time performances.
- Made in Nigeria jerseys
Implementation is very important. You need a team of thinkers, media gurus, digital experts and patriotic Nigerians with integrity. We have lots of them and yes! Young people. Remember, these are the people that will form a bulk of the expected fan base.
Expectations of buyers include-
- Upgrade technical personnel
- Signing of Foreign players- it would be great to have Brazilian players/mercenaries to spice things up.
- Foreign investors/sponsorship
- Football Academy- reaching grass roots
- Improve fan base
- Improvement of infrastructure- maintenance of football pitches
Sources of revenue for buyers
- Sponsors and partners (Kit sponsors, merchandise sales etc.)
- Broadcast rights (domestic matches and international matches as well)
- Fans (Match-day tickets, season tickets, memberships etc.)
Full impact potential: This will create enormous opportunities for Nigerian football players, increase the likelihood for discovery of more talents, create employment, and attract more investment and professionals from around the world. One thing Nigeria has is “numbers”- put that to use and create great value.
Funding: Public Private Partnership
Marketplace: Sports, Television & Entertainment
Other interesting facts: Most Italian stadia are not owned by the clubs, but leased. The system is outmoded, and costs clubs some revenue.
Written by: Tomi Orunmuyi (IG & Twitter @tomishift)
Tomi is a Technology and Media professional who currently runs a digital media company called Cliq Ent.
Educational Background: Msc Telecommunication Systems Management (Queen Mary University of London), BEng. Electrical Engineering (University of Ilorin)