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SBD Global/July 17, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

EPL Teams Looking At African Market To Add Fans

English clubs "appear to be having an Africa awakening" as the competition to "dominate the African Football market heats up," according to Sohail Malik of AL JAZEERA. EPL clubs ManU, Man City, Arsenal and Sunderland have all made forays into the continent recently. Research group SPORT+MARKT's Andrew Walsh believes what is happening now is an "increasing awareness of the scope for growth in Africa's key football markets." Walsh thinks that Africa "has been neglected in favour of Asia." However, with this recent awakening by EPL teams, Walsh argues that "there are opportunities for them to reap rewards." He said, "Africa is a hot-bed of untapped potential for clubs due to the sheer numbers of fans there. No other continent on earth harbours such a high ratio of football interest." A '11 study by SPORT+MARKT showed that 72% of Africa's 738 million people between the ages of 16-69 have an interest in football. The study also revealed that 55% of Africans are interested in the EPL and 39% "actively support an English top flight team." Nairobi-based investment Analyst Aly Khan Satchu "contends that the African market is growing rapidly" and will consist of two billion fans by '50. Satchu believes that the best way to take advantage of this is "through exploiting mobile digital technology." He said, "The ubiquity of the Internet enabled mobile phone will allow the Premiership to leverage the new Digital World in order to deliver bite-sized mobile football content direct to their fans in a way which will be profitable and worthwhile" (AL JAZEERA, 7/16).
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