Experts in the field of journalism, branding and business strategy have tasked sports journalists to look towards exploring sports branding, marketing and administration in order to tap into the immense potentials in the industry.
This was the underlining message on Wednesday in Ilorin at a capacity building training organised by the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, Kwara State chapter.
Sports marketing and branding is conservatively estimated to have a $500 billion annual turnover.
The training amongst many other things,sought to help sports writers understand the nuances in the aspect of sports branding and marketing.
The capacity building with the theme, “Sports Branding, Marketing and Administration “ was held at Henry George Hotel, Ilorin.
Opening the session, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication, University of Ilorin, Dr. Rasaq Adisa expressed the need for re-professionalization of sports reportage.
The way to go about it, he said, is to avoid sensational reporting.
“Sensationalism tends to take away a reporter’s credibility,” he explained.
While also admonishing journalists, especially broadcasters to learn to stick to scripts, he also urged journalists not to be too attached to their presentations.
Shogo Shodunke, a sports consultant noted that potentials in sports branding and marketing are limitless.
He tasked journalists to do more in the areas of sports identity by creating a niche for sports in Kwara State in order to attract investors.
Shodunke has consulted for top clubs in the country like Kano Pillars, Remo Stars and organisers pre season soccer tournaments that has created exciting sports encounters every year.
Toyosi Oyetunji, a sports communications expert and business strategists in his presentation urged reporters to leverage digital platforms to enhance their works.
“Advertisers follow where people are looking. A YouTube handle with a million views can attract huge money in dollars so long as you have good content”.
He emphasized on the need to use social media handles like Spotify and digital applications, artificial intelligence, voice over applications to help in simplifying complex tasks.
Earlier, the Chairman of Kwara SWAN, Ayodeji Ismail explained that the need to explore other areas in sports management necessitated the training.
The Chairman commended legal luminary, Akeem Usman Mustapha, who largely sponsored the training program for also bankrolling the re-grassing of Kwara State Stadium pitch.
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 manner 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 catch niches for themselves by reporting positively to rebrand Nigeria, stressing the need to engage in developmental journalism and ensure credibility at all times.
Speaking also at the event, Head of Department of Mass Communication, University of Ilorin, Dr Kehinde Khadijat Kadiri, applauded SWAN for the idea of 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 prepare 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 no longer just a beat, it’s now an industry,” he said.
Highlights of the event also include the signing of memorandum of partnership between Kwara SWAN and Mass Communication department of the University of Ilorin, Kazolink Sports Consults and Dickalo Table Water.