19 April, 2009

RE-BRANDING......football...from little to big

Headaches of re-branding

Some weeks ago in Nigeria it was really impressive to hear this slogan or project in (RE-BRANDING) and to see some of the obtained effects and results already; some though still to be tested by time, I sincerely support this project and most of the methods being adopted by the proponents.

The work on a positive redirecting towards good our ways of life, attitude to things and the general culture is needed at this time however, having in mind the effects of globalization, migration, emigration and ‘virtual nomadism’ i.e. TV , internet phones etc.

This said I would like to point at some neo colonial trends observed in Nigeria that has made all of us to abandon our cultural heritage for a preference to other cultures. It was embarrassing to see NIGERIAN HOOLIGANS (violent football fans) claiming to be supporters of Manchester United, Chelsea, or Arsenal. I heard of fracas in some Nigerian local bars involving supporters of these clubs which resulted to many people being stabbed with knives and many bottles broken on people’s heads during matches played in the UK.

I have nothing against someone being a supporter to any club any place but the worrying thing was the reaction of my cousins, nephews and friends on my question and enquiries of our local clubs like the Rangers international of Enugu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enugu_Rangers).

Enugu Rangers International logotype

(Enugu rangers) African Clubs Kits Avatars

Rangers used and is still more than a football club to most of us…...something more than a religion. I will come to Rangers one day. Some of them told me “..aah uncle, Queens park rangers is in Div two oooo” but I insisted I ment Enugu Rangers and not QPR of UK, but was shocked to see that some of them were ignorant of the football clubs in Nigeria and were even stunned that someone of -blog and Facebook age- was talking of ‘these local things’.

I inquired of (IICC) shooting stars, Kano Pillars, Enyimba, Vasco Da Gama of Enugu; Niger Tornadoes, Stationary Stores, Racca Rovers, Ranchers Bees, Adamawa United , El Kanemi Warriors FC, Julius Berger FC, Sharks FC etc. I had to shot up because I observed that one of my younger friends was embarrassed by my “out of date and bushman’s enquires”. I wondered if the re-branding wouldn’t have started from a closer distance i.e appreciating ourselves and culture first.

FYI, I am also an ardent, sworn and baptized supported of ROMA FC since 1982 and I like Chelsea and Inter of Milan just because they are more multiethnic than other UK & Italian clubs respectively.

It was a ‘comic shock’ when a local Master of ceremony in a fund raising show for a church construction called on the microphone ”….now is the time for the supporters of the Gunners to go and make their generous donations, after them followed Man .U, then the Blues supporters. All the three names were followed by a great turmoil in the church and what I believe were generous competitive donations. Sincerely I felt bad.

ABUJA football fans shops (Only Man U, Gunners, & Blues)

In Abuja I saw one of the best equipped football supporters gadgets shops I have ever seen in my many years of globetrotting. However it was 90% of Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal gadgets. I saw some Barcelona. I asked them of anything about Roma FC they smiled saying ‘Oga nooooooo..’, then I ventured into the impossible “,,, anything of Rangers International of Enugu…?” the shop attendants looked at me, then at themselves and continued to chat, I suppose they were talking about the numerous insane people roaming Abuja in these recent days… your most humble was supposed to be one of them.

In Nigeria I saw not less that 5000 people wearing -most often- tattered Man U jersey written Rooney: I had a high quality jersey we produced when Nigeria was playing world cup years ago. We couldn’t sell them then because the eagles were knocked out. I sent them to Nigeria to be given out FOC, but was shocked that some villagers would prefer going naked to wearing that - Up EAGLES- jersey-

Globalization has come to stay, I love it. As we re-brand we should also pay more attention on the erosions on our cultures in some areas we sometimes neglect.

Chukwubike Okey. C

(Roma -Italia)




Oga Charly,

Very interesting write-up here. You may want to salute the power of the media to recreate taste. Back in the days when many of us had no television to watch English premiership, only those who play pool knew the name of the clubs in England. Then we would relax in the comfort of our wooden chair to listen to the football commentary.. .it is Rangers Vs Shooting Stars....my elder brother use to know the name of all the players in Nigerian clubs. Sad enough...today when I call him...he is more Man U than you can imagine....I am United forever too...but the fact is that our local media should do more to promote our own...but then the media needs to be paid...so local companies should learn to sponsor teams. It has nothing to do with hatred for ones' own...it is just that DSTV, HiTV and co bring the round-leather game to the full glare of the growing Nigerian middle class.

I still love Rangers and I am still a fan...NFF make Nigerian league more interesting. ..private companies... be more generous to our own game...


Anonymous said...

Ikenna. Good talk but u left out the important issue here. Being a fan of a club/clubs thousands of kilometres away is not the problem. Fighting and maiming one another for teams that don't even know these supporters exist leaves one wondering the IQ of such Nigerian fans; most of whom have not seen Murtala Mohammed Airport before. I noticed this in Nigeria in December '08. Street brawls etc for teams most can only see on TV. I think our psychiatric Doctors have a lot to do.