Soccer Branding: The Story Of European Soccer In Nigeria

PDL CFC Azul president Steve Coxon, one of the three original organizers of MLS-sponsored Soccer Night in Newtown on Jan. 7, gives all credit for the event to Houston Dynamo president Chris Canetti.

This is where Soccer encounters its first problem. It isn’t that Soccer isn’t a competitive game- it’s just that it isn’t in the exciting half of the competition gene pool. Soccer games consist of long stalemates and largely uneventful games. Americans long for the rush of constant scoring, long leads, and unending action.

I never made another crack penalty shot because soccer lost its fascination for me when I went to secondary school and life’s larger issues – like careers and relationships – came to the fore. Indeed I cannot understand the current OBSESSION with championship soccer. Sure, a good football match has way of holding your attention, but do you have to assault the opposing team’s fans, the way soccer hooligans often do? Do you have to worship a player just because he put a couple of balls past the goalkeeper? super socer are nowadays piped as “heroes”. Young boys in Japan may buy Beckham-approved sunglasses and youngsters in Africa shave their heads like Ronaldo but will that make them better players? I think not.

Let’s face it; Americans are a pretty close-minded bunch. Just as many American women constantly judge others by appearance, American men judge others by masculinity. In Football you have large, powerful men that essentially go to war on the field. In Baseball you can find clubs and balls that fly around at bone-shattering speeds. In Basketball you have exceptionally tall players that can jump high into the air. Soccer? You have quick-footed ball-kickers that rarely show off feats of strength or do anything other than run and hop. The U.S is not pleased.

It is not even surprising that they become home to our everyday household products. They become endorsers for energy drinks, sports garments, and even cereals. Their faces are not only on Nike’s shirts but also on cereal boxes.

Very clever business PR move. By stating potential monumental earnings, they create a buzz about it. This ultimately adds even more value to the Beckham profile.

The big brands of European soccer making waves in Nigeria are, The UEFA Championships, and English Premier League. Whenever teams in these competitions engage themselves in competitive soccer for a cup, Nigerian fans are held spellbound. It is as if the match is being played In Nigeria.

Beckham’s arrival has been a huge step forward, but there is still much work to be done. The league still needs more high-profile players from overseas, and the ODP needs to crank out more youth talent to build the national team’s reputation.