Sport

Kitwe derby good ad for Zambian football

Soccer Review with STEPHEN PHIRI
ZAMBIA’s biggest derby, Nkana versus Power Dynamos, had all the ingredients – skill, flair, goals and supporters.
In the end, Nkana ran out 2-0 winners over Power in what was a Super Division Stream B Week 13 match at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.
I commend both Power and Nkana for publicising the match and the supporters for coming in their numbers to cheer their respective teams that have won the league title 18 times between them – 12 for Nkana and six for Power.
Marketing is the way to go for all the teams in the Super Division if they are to maximise on gate takings.
Days of waiting for sponsors to provide everything are long gone. Teams have to think outside the box to supplement what they receive from their sponsors.
Teams should be able to put their players at a hotel or at a decent lodge from money raised from gate takings.
Fruits, juices and water players use during training should come from club coffers and not waiting for sponsors.
Not all days are Sundays, so goes the English adage and time is ripe for teams to take football as a business and not as a pastime.
With the economy biting, it is imperative for teams to embrace an aggressive marketing strategy so that they do not sink when the going gets tough. I am aware that Super Division teams on the Copperbelt attract some impressive numbers at various stadiums.
The problem is in Lusaka, where the numbers at various stadiums are not impressive.
The teams are lucky that they are sponsored by parastatals and the defence force.
If the teams were under individual sponsorship, they could have folded a long time ago.
With the Confederation of African Football (CAF) club licensing coming into effect, marketing officers at various teams need to stand up and be counted.
The business-as-usual attitude should be a thing of the past.
Football is big business in Europe and there is no reason why we should not follow suit here.
I want to see fans filling to capacity various stadiums across the country.
For instance, the Zanaco versus Green Buffaloes derby can be a crowd-puller if well marketed.
After all, football is a crowd-puller.
I hope fans will turn up in numbers at various stadiums in the remaining matches.
sphiri@daily-mail.co.zm, phiristeve4@gmail.com

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