Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nigerian League Has Huge Potential - Rathbone

Head of SuperSport in Africa, Gary Rathbone, believes that the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) has the potential of becoming one of the best leagues in the world.
But Rathbone explained that the only that the Premier League in Nigeria can compete with its counterparts across the globe would depend on factors surrounding branding, club-customer relationship and reportage of the championship.
The SuperSport chief pointed out that the Premier League clubs in the country should reach out to its immediate customers, which he referred to as the fans and the media.
He said the roles of the fans and the media in building a successful remain central.
“The NPL has the potential to be the best in the world through how it brands its league. And the clubs must respect customers such as fans and the media because of the central roles they play in the whole process of making the Premier League a huge success,” he said.
Rathbone also advised that club managers need to start having a change in perception of the Premier League, as their roles in management would go a long way in improving the top-flight in Nigeria as a brand to the outside world.
He further charged the clubs to imitate top European clubs by using their players as part of their strategy to market their brands.
“In Europe and many parts of the world, club players are usually used as part of the strategy in promoting the brand of the clubs. We have seen top European clubs do this with huge success. In the area of merchandise and other marketing areas. We have seen Europe’s biggest clubs succeed through this strategy financially. So our clubs need to start using their players and I don’t mean those based abroad but those taking part in the league to market the championship and make it worth investing in,” he said.
Rathbone, however, believes the NPL still has a huge work to do in terms of marketing its championship within Nigeria as well as to the world, adding that Premier League has “all the available windows to market the league to various regions of the world.”

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