MAKING NIGERIAN FOOTBALL ATTRACTIVE IN A DIGITAL AGE -BY TITUS HARRISON - Snazzy.com.ng

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MAKING NIGERIAN FOOTBALL ATTRACTIVE IN A DIGITAL AGE -BY TITUS HARRISON

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Football is special and indeed an entertaining game with ubiquitous appeal, yet the Nigerian football suffers little or no attraction. But with the digital age as ours, there is hope to breed immense attraction and patronage of the Nigerian football.The evident malaise isn’t the limited availability of information and communication systems but the unavailability of novel ideas to garner satisfaction from its usage .

Improving social media participation of players, fans and investors. The larger population of football lovers are social media faithfuls that try to keep up with the teams they love. If players at grass root level can adequately participate in social hub, then this will help upgrade the status of the club. Through the social media, the football management must indulge in rigorous publicity to help reduce the information gap that existed. This publicity can be in form of advertisements, matchday-lottery, transfer and player welfare updates. The social media is forever evolving and its popularity is similar to that of the Bible and Quran.
The strategic inclusion of celebrity appeal. The love of Nigerians for celebrities can only be idealized, so why can’t we employ this factor in boosting the attraction of  Nigerian football? First, advertising a match on a billboard could be accompanied with musicians or actors/actresses image(s) whose presence alone can be appealing and psychologically commanding. Who wouldn’t like to watch Tuface perform before a match? This can go a long way, if celebrities can be used in a strategic way so as to influence attraction. The celebrities performing can be advertised before hand on the web2.0 platform or even on billboards.

Adopting modern publicity strategies and upgrading to top-notch communication technologies. Football in Nigeria suffers from infrastructural degradation as a result of analog ideas overwhelming  the digital ideas which are much more appealing and attractive. This upgrade can only occur if football management in Nigeria organize seminars and workshops for publicity officers, media practitioners  so as to substitute ignorance for knowledge. Domestic television stations  should improve their participation in rendering the Nigerian football attractive. This can be done by broadcasting at least a match each day of the weekend or they can accept Public Service Announcements pertaining the growth of  Nigerian football. Let’s be sure of one thing, if these matches are frequently broadcasted, they can impose on the viewers a habitual involvement in the Local Football Leagues and the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL).
Improving the obsolete mode of Presentation. The channels are never in High Definition (HD) format and the commentary sounds lesser than adequate professional voice over. These can be improved by involving true expertise and adopting modern graphic presentation which have worked already in the EPL.
The need to beat down ticket prices. If we can sit in viewing centres to watch matches for fifty naira then, there is a challenge if we pay two hundred naira or more as entry tickets into a stadium which always has capacity not comparable to any known viewing centre in the country to watch a match. The discouragement that motivates such irony is utopian. The fee isn’t attractive and it could offer palpable motivation for football faithfuls to spend weekends watching digital satellite television which only underwhelms the growth and attraction of  Nigerian football. So if the ticket price is dropped, there is evident tendency to have this Nigerian football of ours immensely attractive.

Football clubs and management must take the task of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) very serious. When this form of duty comes into play, it seems to trigger emotions on the minds of those affected. And when it’s done, the publicity team of football clubs must publicise it to the world at large and clamour for the support of potential stakeholders (clubs’ fans, supporters and investors). Publicity can only be viral, vibrant and less expensive via the web2.0 platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Whatsapp), organisational websites and popular blogs, some which are specialized blogs. When a task as this is carried out, it potently tilts the image of the country’s football into limelight. Charity football matches can be played to support victims of floods, epidemic and orphanage support.
The digital age is a dynamic entity as a result of the peculiar demands and manner of usage. When the suggestions provided above are taken into practical consideration. Then the Nigerian football will not only be attractive, but magnetic, seductive and wholly appealing to prodigal and the ever loving Nigerian football fans.  



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