Experts in the field of journalism, branding and business strategy have tasked sports journalists to look towards exploring sports branding, marketing and administration to tap into the immense potentials in them.
They made the call today Wednesday May 31, 2023, in Ilorin at a Capacity Building training put together by Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, Kwara State chapter.
Sports marketing and branding is estimated to have a $500 billion annual turnover, conservatively.
Thriving on unique content provision for which so many opportunities abound in Kwara, a sports loving hub and Nigeria, the training program sought to equip sports writers to look towards this game changing aspect of sports reporting.
The Capacity Building training has as its theme, “Sports Branding , Marketing and Administration”, and held at Henry George Hotel, Ilorin.
Kick starting the session, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication, University of Ilorin, Dr Rasaq Adisa observed that there is need for reprofessionalization of sports reporting.
The way to go about it, he said, should be that sensational reporting must be avoided.
“Sensationalism tends to take away a reporters credibility,” he explained.
He also admonished journalists, especially broadcasters to learn to stick to scripts, even as he also warned journalists not to be too attached to their presentations.
Shogo Shodunke, a Sports Consultant, said that potentials in sports branding and marketing is limitless.
He also asked journalist to do more in the areas of sports identity, creating a niche for sports in Kwara because there are people with money willing to invest in such contents.
Shodunke has consulted for top clubs in the country like Kano Pillars, Remo Stars and organisers pre-season soccer tourneys that creates exciting sports encounters every year.
Toyosi Oyetunji, Sports Communications Expert and business strategists also asked reporters to learn to use digital platforms to enhance their works and to market them.
“Advertisers follow were people are looking.
“A YouTube handle with a million views can attract huge money in dollars so long as you have good content.
He also spoke on the need to use social media handles like Sportify and digital apps like AI, voice over applications to help in very simple and complex tasks.
Earlier, the Chairman of Kwara SWAN, Ayodeji Ismail explained that the need to explore other areas in sports management necessitated the training, hence the need to harness branding and marketing in sports reporting for members to be in tandem with the opportunity therein.
Ayodeji Ismail also commended Barrister A. U. Mustapha, who largely sponsored the training program.
He also commended the the Chairman, CAF Appeal Committee President for bankrolling the re-grassing of the pitch of the Kwara State Stadium.
In his remarks, Chief Press Secretary to the Kwara State Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, urged Nigerian journalists to refrain from pulling down the country through negative reportage.
Ajakaye expressed reservation in the way Nigerians are posting and writing negative reports about the nation on social media, which he said, are having negative effects on the country.
He harped on the need for journalists and writers to broaden their horizon and create niches for themselves by reporting positively to rebrand Nigeria, stressing the need to engage in developmental journalism and ensure credibility at all times.
The Executive Chairman of the Kwara State Sports Commission, Mallam Bola Mogaji said that Kwara government is committed to the development of sports, adding that SWAN will continue to be worthy partners in progress.
Speaking also at the event, Head of Department of Mass Communication, University of Ilorin, Dr Kehinde Khadijat Kadiri, applauded SWAN for putting up the program.
Mass Communication Department of the University of Ilorin partners the sports writers association to organize the training.
With some of her students attending, the varsity don said that such training would further prepar her students to be hands on when they get into the field.
Ace broadcaster, Mallam Hameed Adio, also made a case for schools with Mass Communication departments to include sports reporting as part of their curriculum.
“Sports is nolonger just a bit, it’s now an industry,” he said.