Managing Sports as a Business

Contrary to the common assumption by many, sports can be more than just passion,  a pass time or leisure activity, sports can be run as an entity, a business; a revenue generating stream and hence provide employment.

However, we need to provide a value-driven approach to the targeted organizations, in this case sponsors, rather than approaching them with a string of challenges. As put by Name of CEO here Nairobi City Stars CEO, we need to put value to the teams.

Citing a scenario in football, in 2011, a media monitoring firm was contracted by the Kenya Premier League to give a valuation of the Kenya Premier League in the 2010 season. The valuation reports, basically covers the advertising value equivalent of the league. Advertising value equivalency is the measure of impact of media coverage on that particular sport, derived from calculating the total cost of spaces occupied by news on that sport, in print, broadcast and digital media, had the space been sold for advertising. This is the value sponsors get back by investing in your team.

The advertising value equivalent, is proportional to the numbers the sport attracts. Having a large fan base gives the sponsoring brand a visibility. Sadly, in numbers ranking, hockey is considered a ‘lesser’ sport. Hockey mostly identifies with persons who have played the sport at one point or another. Our stadiums are rarely packed and being seasonal, where content is only available when the league is on, doesn’t help much on this either. Instead of growing on the existing fan-base, it actually kills the vibe. Putting content out there creates a consistency making more people identify with the sport on and off season. There is also a greater chance of bringing more persons on board.

To be able to package ourselves appropriately, and thus be in a position where an organization would be willing to put in their funds with an aim of getting value back, more needs to be done than just having numbers.

It also involves having good governance and structures in place. Unfortunately, most of the teams are built on member funding, and governed by the founder members. This are systems that might not be very efficient in managing club funds or even presenting them to an interested party. There is need to have qualified persons taking charge of the different club roles, from managerial, secretarial, finance to even coaching.

Proper management of sports is the basis of revolutionizing sports organizations. It’s time we start packaging the teams to seek partnerships, where we provide a give and take arrangement rather than seeking well-wishers and donors.

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