If sport is your passion and you can get a job or build a business within it then you are halfway down the road to self-fulfillment. There was a time before the 1970s and 1980s when sports would be played for sport’s sake and not for the money. However, the numbers around sporting activities have grown quite much, considering ease of information access, creating an ideal environment to run a business.
Focusing on hockey as our sport of choice, we’ve seen several businesses flourish, some as simple as selling sweets, around and within the stadium. This cuts across the transport sector around that area, eateries and convenience shops, refreshments and even shops selling sporting attire. There is a very large market around the people in the stadiums, both playing and watching.
At a time when we are having conversations on management and finances for the sport, business activities to engage in should not be left behind. It is time to start offering the services or goods in the associated sectors.
“We have enough space and a lot of activities that the federation, clubs or teams, could engage in their favour. Say, if we had an eatery in the stadium, we can then collect all the money that goes to the community around for food. Also, supposedly we get someone else to do some Nyama-Choma, then that would even be more appealing.” said Jairus Boca, an entrepreneur within the Kenyan Hockey circles, in a conversation with The Hockey Republik – THR.
The thought alone of watching an evening match as you enjoy some well-made Nyama-Choma, is thrilling. It would definitely invite more people, than the very cold and empty terrace at City Park. However, this will only be profitable when there are numbers, which is the weekends. Instead of leaving these places idle for the rest of the week, we could make them better like stay-ins and lodges. That way they run and therefore generate revenue throughout.
Similarly, in the transport sector, we could get vehicles, buses and taxis to ferry people to and from the stadium at an average fee in the weekends, while they operate elsewhere the rest of the week. All this is the art of value addition to the sport and stadium other than the collection of gate charges.
Merchandising as well plays an important role in business. We know people will buy items simply because they are positioned as and are brands that they can identify with. Similarly, in this case – if we branded all these services with a hockey or club logo, they would sell even more elsewhere while promoting the sport.
There are a handful of other business ideas around sports; sports writing, sports radio, sports photography, sports camps organizers, sporting goods stores, etc. It is up to us to take up these initiatives and make the best out of them.