By Salifu Usman, Abuja
Nigerians have been urged to cultivate the culture of investing in sports business as a reliable means of making money and expand their sources of incomes.
The national coordinator of Icon Management, Sir Humphrey Ubimago made the call while speaking to LEADERSHIP Sports on sideline of the 9th Icon Sports Management Conference in Abuja, yesterday.
He said the conference with the theme: ‘Design Effective Leadership and Strategy for Quality Sports’ is aimed at educating Nigerians towards sports business.
“The theme of this ICON Sports Management Conference is ‘Design Effective Leadership and Strategy that will make coaches and sports managers better. One of the strategies is training and retraining, and we are looking at the business angle of sports in an entrepreneurship manner as part of sports management.
“We are encouraging Nigerians from every sphere of life either as a public servant, private person or an orgnisation to invest in sports business. We want people to create alternative sources of income for themselves through sports management like training and leadership skill that will enable them design the model that they will use to make money”.
“We want to stress that sports business is very vast. Getting coaching degree or certificate from National Institute of Sports (NIS) will enable you make good money both in Nigeria and outside the country”.
“If you have NIS certificate through Icon Sports Management intervention, you will be able to do a lot of things as sports manager and create an environment, be it a physical fit exercise club, gymnasium, sports club, promoting sport event, wrestling, cycling, football club and so on”.
“We are preaching that people should be able to look at sports as business venture. That is why we want to train interested sports coaches, managers, directors and administrators in both public service and private sector to open their eyes towards the business angle of sports, but they have to get concept note. So, we are offering our consultancy and this programme to open the eyes of Nigerians towards effective leadership and strategy in sports management.
According to him, the greatest challenge facing Nigeria’s sports industry is the inability of its citizens to sports beyond leisure, even as they continue to spend their hard money supporting and promoting sports tournaments organised by the western world.
“Nigerians have never looked at sports as business. They see sports as leisure and that is one of the greatest problems we are facing. But in outside world, we are busy watching La Liga, English premier League (EPL) and other sporting events organised by the western world with our money, without wanting to know the secret behind it. The secret has never been from government, but the private sector.”
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