The NPFL and NWFL have announced a couple of sponsorship deals in recent weeks. The NPFL named Bitnob its elite sponsor, while the NWFL named TULCAN Energy its lead sponsor for their Super Six tournament.
However, market expert Yinka Adebayo has stated that if the proper steps are taken, leagues such as the NNL and NLO can attract larger sponsors.
“There is a lot of cleaning up that we need to do,” said Yinka Adebayo, Executive Director, Media Investment at OMG WeCa Media Reach, OMD Nigeria. “Let’s put numbers to what we mean when we say “a lot.
“The game we play in marketing is a game of numbers because you can’t manage what you can’t count. When you can count it, it becomes much easier to manage your numbers around it.
“A lot in terms of talent, a lot in terms of viewers, and a lot in terms of what? Put it in context so that people can understand and relate to it. Most brands want to know what their return on investment (ROI) will be if they book this money here and what their deliverables will be. Deliverables must be improved to meet hygiene standards; am I confident that working with you will not harm my image?”
The Executive Director, who has over 20 years of experience in the field of marketing communications with a focus on advertising and media, went on to say that some violent incidents recorded during some NNL and NLO matches are detrimental to the leagues’ image. He stated that no brand would want to be associated with a league where the safety of fans entering stadiums to watch league matches is not guaranteed.
“Is it good for the brand if someone gets killed or brutalized in the league you sponsor? So all of these things are important”, he added.
“Look at the English Premier League; most of the stadiums are packed with families. Is that possible in Nigeria? Will you take your wife or children in there even if you, as the head of the family, are unsure of your own safety? Those are the kinds of things we should start looking into.
On how to address the leagues’ lack of sponsors, the marketing expert stated that the journey to improve the lower tier divisions has already begun, but there is still a lot of cleaning to be done.
“We still have a lot of cleaning up to do, but the journey has begun”, he said. “I believe that much more needs to be done, and you can see that the respect you seek is usually the one you do not deserve. If you truly deserve it, your adversary will give it to you.
“Lower divisions must be well-positioned, structured, and packaged, with all necessary efforts directed in the right directions.
“These are the things that will put them in the spotlight, and from there, they will be able to easily attract brands. So, in football, we say we’re giving a lot, but no one sees it; no one sees how much you’re giving.
“If there is a lot, you will not be the one chasing brands; brands will come after you because you can see and experience clearly. It is not a no-brainer once the value is on the table.
“Even the blind will see and hear about it, so we just need to put value first and once that value is, we will ensure we do the necessary cleaning up, we put some structures in place, we put some sanity into what we do, clear up the hygiene factor, the league is well positioned, the brands will naturally come.”