Rumors: Bale Requests Transfer From Madrid

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According to Tabloids in Madrid, world record signing, Gareth Bale really wants to leave Madrid as a newspaper reports that the former Tottenham man has issued a transfer request to exit the Bernabeu

Gareth Bale has received a lot of criticism from the fans of Real Madrid and pundits alike, while they may seem harsh, they are all justified as the Welshman has failed to live up to the billing of a top player, talk more of being a Real Madrid player not to even mention the club and world’s record signing. Bale has however tanked under the pressure as his agent met with Club president, Florentino Perez to inform him of his clients desire to leave the club.

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This magazine also reports that Bale is “looking for a way out” as the headliner is translated.

Real Madrid are believed to be willing to let Bale go but they do not want to make a heavy loss on the player. One thing is however certain; no club in the world would pay anywhere near 100 million euros for Bale’s signature. At least not in his current form


Source: 360

He’s Worth It: Di Maria Scores Rabona Penalty Against De Gea

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Manchester United winger, Angel Di has struggled in his first season at Manchester United but this video proves the former Real Madrid man could be worth the big money Manchester United paid for him.

In this video Chevrolet promoted, Manchester United players took a penalty challenge against PFA team of the year goalkeeper, David De Gea. While Januzaj and Di Maria both scored penlaties with their weaker feet, Di Maria scored an awesome penalty with a Rabona to round off the video.

De Gea can be accused of not really making an attempt to save the ball though


Source: 360

Reports: Manchester United Close To Deal For Otamendi

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After losing out on Hummels, Manchester United have made quick work of moving on to the next target as the Old Trafford outfit are on the hunt for Valencia Defender Nicolas Otamendi.

Otamendi has been in superb form for Valencia this season as his side have challenged for a place in Europe. Otamendi has been one of the most sought after defenders in Europe but Manchester United may just win the race. Manchester United are believed to have agreed personal terms with Manchester United while Manchester united and Valencia are believed to be in negotiations for a transfer fee.

Manchester United are getting set to have a very busy summer as they would be looking to overhaul their squad.


Source: 360

This Turkish club proves innovative thinking reaps rewards

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VENTURES AFRICA – One of the biggest clichés in the world is to ‘think outside the box’- to do things in a different way, solve problems creatively and help create or do something unique. The world’s biggest advancements have been a result of outside the box thinking but in the field of sports, there is usually little wiggle room to do something so startlingly different.

 

Meet Bursaspor Football Club

A Turkish club playing in the country’s top division, the Turkish Super Lig, Bursaspor are about to reap rewards for some daring, innovative thinking.

The club’s nickname ‘Yeşil Timsahlar’ translates to ‘Green Crocodiles’ and so when in 2011, the club decided on building a new stadium, it outrageously decided to base the stadium design on and have it shaped as a giant, green crocodile. As though building a stadium which looked like a crocodile was not enough, the club decided to name it the Crocodile Arena. Throwing in an extra twist, fans will have to enter the stadium through the open mouth of the crocodile with eyes and teeth that light up during match-days.

Naturally, the designs have caused a stir as the proposed 45,000 seater ground, which had an estimated project budget of 70 million euros, will immediately become one of the world’s most iconic pieces of sporting infrastructure once launched.

Fittingly, and proving a feel good twist to the story, Bursaspor are set to be rewarded for thinking outside the box as famous French clothing brand, Lacoste is in talks with the club for the stadium rights. The Lacoste logo is also a crocodile makes it a perfect match for the club and its new stadium and Bursaspor chairman Recep Bölükbaşı sounds confident that a deal will be struck. The deal for the stadium rights is valued at 35 million euros for a ten year period with Lacoste also reporting seeking advertising on the club’s jerseys, most likely in a separate deal.

The appeal for Lacoste is less about its involvement in sports as it hardly plays in the sports marketing space while being involved in tennis and golf. The brand though will gain fantastic media mileage from the stadium naming rights deal as the Crocodile Arena, once opened, will become one of the most talked about sports stadiums globally and possibly a major tourist attraction in Turkey.

For Bursaspor, it must be hugely satisfying that their creativity could be handsomely rewarded without compromising on any of its traditions as club as they have, in fact, advanced their famous nickname. The new Bursaspor stadium is expected to open next season.

 

 

Source: sport25

HULL CITY VS MANCHESTER UNITED: TALK BIG & WIN IT!

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–Relegation dogfight gets keener

Hull City seem the likeliest of teams down the foot of the table to go down with a defeat vs Manchester United. As they host United, victory is a sine qua non and hope for other results to go their way, in order to remain in the top flight.

This is your chance to win big as you predict the outcome of this game.

Two top winners selected this weekend will win their clubs' authentic shirts and two more readers will get one face-cap each as consolation prizes.

How do you see this Survival Sunday game ending?

What are your expectations in this game? Will Hull City win to enhance their survival in the Premier League or do you expect a victory for Man United?

Newcastle United who have been on a poor run of form and are also in deep trouble on the relegation zone welcome West Ham while champions Chelsea who lost 3-0 to West Bromwich Albion on Monday welcome Sunderland. These are games that could have bearings on our feature match of the weekend.

Who will be the players to watch on both sides in the Hull City versus Man United game?

Have your say now. Simply post your comment (preview) on this match through the "Leave A Reply" field at the bottom of this page.

Enter your authentic email address in the required field before posting your comment/preview.

Don't copy and paste online stories/articles here as that will not be considered for winners' selection.

Write your full names and location at the bottom of your comment/preview (eg: Somadina Aniedebe Ibrahim, Ilorin).

WINNER'S TESTIMONY

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"A big thanks to the management and staff of Completesportsnigeria.com I got my authentic Liverpool jersey on Monday 4th of May, 2015 at 1.30pm. Am hungry for more. Keep up the good work. God bless Complete Sport Nigeria (CSN)."
— Aruwuonye Ngozi Rosecoleth, from Abuja (Liverpool shirt winner)

The post HULL CITY VS MANCHESTER UNITED: TALK BIG & WIN IT! appeared first on Complete Sports Nigeria.

Source: sport7

Mourinho: Loftus-Cheek Is Chelsea’s Best Trophy This Season

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Jose Mourinho says that Ruben Loftus-Cheek is Chelsea’s best academy success. He also hinted that the young midfielder will feature in the first team during the 2015-16 season.

He also said that the young midfielder is the best graduate of the 2014-15 academy class.

“It starts with the facilities but it ends with the co-operation between the academy and the first team. At this moment we are working well. The players are the best witness of that work and they feel it. We know we are going in the right direction,” he told reporters.

“This year, the most important title for the academy was Ruben, not the Uefa Youth League or the FA Youth Cup. It was Ruben: the best trophy. I’m excited but I keep emotional control. If I don’t I’d lose the players or help them go the wrong way but, yes, I am excited – but with stability. At this minute, that’s what they need.”

Source: sutbeatcom

UNBELIEVABLE – Soccer Star Cristiano Ronaldo Donates a HUGE $8m To The Nepalese Earthquake Appeal!

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As one of the world’s most successful and talented sports stars, Cristiano Ronaldo is almost constantly in the limelight. Known as a flashy and often selfish player, he has somewhat of a reputation for diving and bending rules to suit him. So, while almost unbelievably brilliant at soccer, the Real Madrid star isn’t always the best loved. But that might be about to change… He’s just donated an amazing $8m to Save The Children for their Nepal earthquake mission. Pretty amazing, huh? Ronaldo The Portuguese star has a real history of kindness and generosity, though. He has his own charities and foundations and donated a significant amount of money to help rebuild Indonesia after 2004’s devastating tsunami and earthquake there. Not only that, last year Ronaldo was asked to donate items to help out in raising $83,000 to pay for a much-needed operation for a 10 month old baby. He not only gave the family a signed shirt and boots but even paid for the entire operation!

Source: sutbeatcom

Tickets price surge for Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard’s Anfield farewell

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Steven Gerrard is bringing down the curtain on a 17-year Liverpool career at the end of the season. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters
Tickets for Steven Gerrard’s Anfield farewell are being sold for more than £1,200.

On Tuesday evening the price of tickets for Liverpool’s home match with Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday ranged from £179.01 to £1,258.63 on www.ticketbis.net.

The Liverpool captain will bring down the curtain on his 17-year career with the club at the end of the season before a move to Major League Soccer with LA Galaxy.

The game against Palace is classed as a category C fixture and adult tickets normally cost between £37 and £49.

Gerrard is scheduled to play his final game for Liverpool away to Stoke the following weekend.

Source: sutbeatcom

Diego Maradona dissing Lionel Messi: My goals were more ‘beautiful’

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Asked by CNN anchor Becky Anderson to pick between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as to who is the world’s top footballer, Argentina’s former World Cup winner emphatically endorsed the Barcelona star — but quickly worked himself into the conversation.
“The thing is, my goals were more beautiful,” insisted Maradona.
However, even Maradona, who led Argentina to victory over West Germany in the 1986 World Cup final, was forced to concede the 27-year-old Messi is trumping him in the goalscoring stakes.
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Messi is “killing it with his goals,” admitted the 54-year-old — a nod to Messi’s prolific career scoring record of 328 and counting for Barcelona and Argentina, far outweighing Maradona’s own tally of 293 for club and country.
Messi’s tally includes 53 goals scored so far this season, including two in a 3-0 drubbing over Bayern Munich last week in the first leg of their European Champions League tie. Barcelona advanced to the final on Tuesday with a 5-3 aggregate score after the away leg.

Messi’s performances in those two games prompted Bayern’s coach Pep Guardiola to describe the diminutive forward as “the best player of all time.”

Both Messi and Maradona were often the smallest men on the pitch and each wore the blue and white stripes of their country along with the unmistakable maroon of the famous Catalan club.

Quizzed as whether it is Messi’s goals or his style that make him great, Maradona offered a compromise: Messi might be scoring more goals, but it’s the former Napoli star who had more flair.

“I think that I had my own style from the very beginning,” said the man famously known for his “Hand of God” goal against England in the 1986 World Cup. “And that is the point in which I could be better than Messi.”

According to Maradona, Messi is still “finding his own style,” adding: “Most likely he will find it very soon.”

Maradona coached Messi at the 2010 World Cup but his contract was not renewed following Argentina’s 4-0 quarterfinal defeat to Germany.

Three years ago, Maradona was sacked by United Arab Emirates club Al-Wasl after only 14 months in charge.

He arrived in Dubai on a lucrative contract in May 2011, but could only manage to take Al-Wasl to eighth place in the 12-team UAE Pro-League — which resulted in the club’s board resigning.

Maradona was not given the chance to continue his two-year tenure by the new board.

He is one of the greatest players in soccer history, having helped Napoli win two Italian league titles after a difficult two-year stay at Barcelona — both clubs signed him for world-record fees.

But his career was marred by controversy over drug use — he was thrown out of the 1994 World Cup after testing positive for ephedrine — and he suffered from subsequent health problems.

Source: sutbeatcom

How much did the Mayweather vs Pacquaio bout generate?

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VENTURES AFRICA – Before the big fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, many boxing, sports marketing and business experts had various projections for revenues. There were few doubts that the fight was going to create history as former HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg said “I have no doubt in my mind that this fight will set the record [but] how high will it go?”
Days after the fight, that question is finally answered as bean counters are almost done sorting through receipts, balance sheets and bank statements to ascertain, once and for all, the number of records broken, revenues generated and also how much the various stakeholders made.
While it may not have lived up to expectations in the ring, the fight lived up to its billings as regards revenue projections.
Here is a summary of how much revenue was generated via pay per view (PPV) buys and revenues as well as broadcast rights sales, live gates, closed circuit broadcast and sponsorship.
PPV revenue was always going to account for the largest slice of the pie and it did. The final numbers, jointly announced by HBO and Showtime, revealed that there was a total of 4.4 million buys which surpasses the previous record of 2.4 million buys set during the 2007 fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Mayweather.
PPV revenues also smashed the $400 million ceiling-with prices set at $89.95 for regular views and $99.95 for High Definition views, breaking the $150 million record set for Mayweather’s fight against Canelo Alvarez in 2013.
The live gates revenue for paid attendance, according to the Nevada Athletic Commission, stood at 16,219. The gates generated around $71 million- another record. The gate earnings surpassed the current record ($20 million) by $50 million and is greater than the sum of gate earnings for both of Mayweather’s last two big fights in Nevada- $20 million against Alvarez and $18 million against De La Hoya.
MGM Resorts recorded revenues of $6.9 million from closed-circuit broadcast tickets as the fight was unavailable on pay per view in Las Vegas and as such people interested had to pay to watch on closed-circuit at various MGM properties across Las Vegas. Closed-circuit tickets were sold at $150.
Sponsorship brought in over $11 million with Paramount Pictures, Weinstein Company, Mexico Tourism Board, Smart Communications and Tecate beer all paying millions in sponsorship dollars
About a week before the fight, revenue from international broadcast sales were estimated at $35 million but with more international distribution deals agreed only two days before the fight, that figure could well be dwarfed. In total, rights for the fight was distributed in 175 countries.
The final big number for revenue generated from the mega fight will surpass $500 million from all indications.

Source: New feed25

Three lessons Africa can learn from South Africa’s soccer league

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VENTURES AFRICA – The South African Premier Soccer League was wrapped up over the weekend as Kaizer Chiefs emerged champions for the fourth time in their history. The South African league is widely regarded as one of the best in Africa and following the conclusion of yet another successful season, the rest of the continent could learn a thing or two from the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL).

Offer Value

Like most other sports in South Africa, the football league has been significantly monetized. The premier division is sponsored by ABSA, a financial services provider while the cup competitions also have notable corporate sponsorship and partnership with corporate luminaries like Nedbank and MTN being heavily involved. The main reason corporate partnership has proven to be viable is that the South African football league offers real value to these brands. With the fans of various clubs all deeply passionate about their clubs, games are well attended with promising TV audiences also chalked up. With an audience to leverage, marketing the league has been ultimately easier but it has to be said that the organizers of the league have done incredible jobs with ensuring stadium security, minimal crowd violence and affordable ticketing. With all these in place, the South African league captures attention and eyeballs thus providing sponsor brands with an avenue to deepen relationships and immerse themselves into customers’ conversations.

Organization is vital

Unlike Nigeria where haphazard fixture lists and questionable refereeing is prevalent and in North Africa where fan violence is a saddening but reoccurring event, South Africa stands out for its impeccable organization standards. League fixtures are properly scheduled ensuring hitch free seasons and thus securing optimal value from television rights deals which represents another major revenue stream for the PSL. It is not quite as monstrous as the figures commanded by the English Premier League but it remains an important source of revenue to keep the league profitable and plays a key role in ensuring that clubs are also well rewarded. Kaizer Chiefs, 2015 champions, received about $836,000 for their triumph while Kano Pillars, current champions of Nigeria’s Professional Football League banked 10.2 percent of that amount -$86,000- for their title win last year. South Africa’s PSL paid out a total prize money pool of $2.4 million while Nigeria’s NPFL paid out $433,00 last year. Clearly, organization, execution and consistent branding does have its rewards.

Fan power

More than anywhere else in Africa, South African football has harvested the interest of its fans. The league organizers, as earlier pointed out, have taken steps and undergone measures to ensure that stadiums are kept violence-free and are conducive for fan attendance. Extra care has also been taken to channel the passion of the fans to boost the league’s popularity and its standing. Perhaps the biggest indication of the strength of the passion for the South Africa PSL is the Soweto derby which truly went global in 2013. Across the Caribbean, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand, the March 2013 derby was shown in 24 million households. The game was broadcast in another 83 million households in America while other regions such as the Middle East and the United Kingdom also got a piece of the broadcast pie. Half of the spectacle of the Soweto derby is provided by the fans with the players having to do the rest. While there are documented instances of clubs struggling to fill 2010 World Cup stadiums which radically stimulated the game in South Africa and also addressed its previous infrastructure deficit, there can be little doubts that attendances at games are improving and will continue to do so. This part is crucial, not just for South Africa but for the rest of Africa, as gate fees are the highest component of global sports revenue and particularly within the context of Africa where the other components- media rights, merchandizing and sponsorship- are not as optimized as can be, the fans can be the lifeblood of leagues in more ways than one.

If leagues in Africa were to be rated , South Africa’s PSL, given its excellent branding and execution as well monetization, will make a good claim for first place and other league organizers across the African continent looking to improve their local leagues can borrow a few leaves from the PSL’s playbook.

 

Source: New feed25

Tim Nicot: Second Belgian footballer dies after suffering cardiac arrest

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(CNN)Belgium is coming to terms with a second footballer in their twenties dying of cardiac arrest in the last fortnight.

Tim Nicot, 23, collapsed while playing for fourth-tier club Wilrijk Beerschot in a tournament at Hemiksem, in the province of Antwerp, on Saturday.

Late last month, 24-year-old Lokeren defender Gregory Mertens died in hospital after collapsing as he played in a reserve game.

The death of Nicot, who was put into an induced coma at Antwerp University Hospital after his collapse, was announced by his club on Monday.
Tim Nicot: Second Belgian footballer dies after suffering cardiac arrest

Updated 1640 GMT (2340 HKT) May 11, 2015
Footballer Tim Nicot had been taking part in a tournament in Belgium.
Footballer Tim Nicot had been taking part in a tournament in Belgium.

(CNN)Belgium is coming to terms with a second footballer in their twenties dying of cardiac arrest in the last fortnight.

Tim Nicot, 23, collapsed while playing for fourth-tier club Wilrijk Beerschot in a tournament at Hemiksem, in the province of Antwerp, on Saturday.

Late last month, 24-year-old Lokeren defender Gregory Mertens died in hospital after collapsing as he played in a reserve game.

The death of Nicot, who was put into an induced coma at Antwerp University Hospital after his collapse, was announced by his club on Monday.

Officials wrote on Twitter: “KFCO Wilrijk Beerschot is in mourning. Tim Nicot has just died. We wish family and friends strength.”

A statement on the club’s official website said: “Much too soon, much too young. This morning, Tim Nicot died. He was only 23 years old.

“KFCO Wilrijk Beerschot are searching for the right words to express our feelings, our sorrow. Disbelief, dismay, powerless rage… they all have a place.

“When the doctors described Tim’s condition as critical, it became clear how serious it was. But he fought like a bear, surrounded by his family, his teammates and his many friends.”

The statement thanked Nicot, who wore the No.14 shirt, for everything he had given the club, describing him as “tireless” and praising his relationship with the supporters.

Wilrijk Beerschot have invited supporters to reflect on the player’s life at their Olympic Stadium, where flowers and cards have been left in his memory. A book of condolence has also been opened.
Tim Nicot: Second Belgian footballer dies after suffering cardiac arrest

(CNN)Belgium is coming to terms with a second footballer in their twenties dying of cardiac arrest in the last fortnight.

Tim Nicot, 23, collapsed while playing for fourth-tier club Wilrijk Beerschot in a tournament at Hemiksem, in the province of Antwerp, on Saturday.

Late last month, 24-year-old Lokeren defender Gregory Mertens died in hospital after collapsing as he played in a reserve game.

The death of Nicot, who was put into an induced coma at Antwerp University Hospital after his collapse, was announced by his club on Monday.
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Officials wrote on Twitter: “KFCO Wilrijk Beerschot is in mourning. Tim Nicot has just died. We wish family and friends strength.”

A statement on the club’s official website said: “Much too soon, much too young. This morning, Tim Nicot died. He was only 23 years old.

“KFCO Wilrijk Beerschot are searching for the right words to express our feelings, our sorrow. Disbelief, dismay, powerless rage… they all have a place.

“When the doctors described Tim’s condition as critical, it became clear how serious it was. But he fought like a bear, surrounded by his family, his teammates and his many friends.”

The statement thanked Nicot, who wore the No.14 shirt, for everything he had given the club, describing him as “tireless” and praising his relationship with the supporters.

Wilrijk Beerschot have invited supporters to reflect on the player’s life at their Olympic Stadium, where flowers and cards have been left in his memory. A book of condolence has also been opened.

Figures from throughout Belgian football have paid tribute, with powerhouse club Anderlecht remembering Nicot on Twitter.

Teammate Antonio Muñoz-Herrera, who had urged his friend and colleague to “keep fighting” over the weekend, said he would never be forgotten.

Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws quoted the player’s father, Alain Nicot, as saying: “Yesterday afternoon, I felt that Tim was losing the fight. His body could not take it any more.

“I cannot comprehend it yet. Twenty-three years old.”

He said the family had been at Nicot’s bedside when he died.

The Gazet Van Antwerpen newspaper reported that cardiologists had called for compulsory heart screenings for athletes after the tragedy, quoting doctor Pedro Brugada as saying: “We must check our cars each year, but not our bodies. That is absurd.”

European football’s governing body Uefa introduced mandatory cardiac testing for all players taking part in its competitions in 2008 following the deaths of Marc-Vivien Foé, Antonio Puerta and Phil O’Donnell.

The Belgian Football Federation was not immediately available for comment.

Source: sutbeatcom

Schalke sack Boateng, Sidney Sam

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Schalke released Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng and Germany winger Sidney Sam on Monday with immediate effect, while suspending Marco Hoeger, as their latest defeat threatens next season’s place in Europe.

With one win in their last eight games, the Royal Blues’ 2-0 defeat at Cologne on Sunday left Roberto di Matteo’s Schalke sixth in the league.

They are in danger of missing out on a Europa League berth next season having reached the last 16 of the Champions League this year.

With neighbours Dortmund hard on their heels in the league table, Schalke face relegation-threatened Paderborn and Hamburg, who are both desperate for points to stay in Germany’s top flight, in their final two games.

Should Schalke finish outside the top six, questions will no doubt be asked as to whether ex-Chelsea boss Di Matteo and director of sport Horst Heldt are the right men for their jobs.

After two seasons with Schalke, Boateng, the club’s top earner, has struggled for form and was substituted just after half-time against Cologne, while Sam was not in the match-day squad having joined from Leverkusen at the start of the season.

Heldt has confirmed both Boateng and Sam have no future with the club.

“It’s not the case that he had a positive aura through his body language,” Heldt said of Sam.

“He only worries about himself and he doesn’t give off positive energy, we don’t need that for the next 14 days.

“Sidney played very, very well at Leverkusen, but it just hasn’t worked out here.”

Hoeger is suspended from training “because of doubts about his loyalty to the club” until Saturday when he will have the chance to redeem himself in the final week of the season.

More players could find themselves with a terminated contract unless results improve, according to Heldt.

“That was the first step,” he said.

“We will monitor closely the reaction of the others this week.

Source: sutbeatcom

Massimilliano Allegri hails Juventus’s win against Real Madrid – video

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The Juventus manager, Massimilliano Allegri, and the Real Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti, give their reactions after Juventus beat Real Madrid 2-1 at the Juventus Stadium on Tuesday. Allegri says Juventus are still not favourites to win the Champions League, despite the victory. Ancelotti says there were more errors in Real Madrid’s performance than usual

Source: sutbeatcom

Arsenal will cost Dangote just 5% of his fortune

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VENTURES AFRICA – Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote is still interested in investing in English Premier League side Arsenal FC after a failed bid in 2010. Although he denied he was interested in buying a stake in the club at the time, he has now signified interest and claims he has a strategy for investing in the North London club.

Like most fans, Dangote believes the club needs a new direction and would like manager Arsene Wenger “to change his style a bit”. He is not just another businessman who wants more money, but also a passionate fan of the club. Thus, if he makes a move to buy, Arsenal fans are likely to support him. Independent polls have already shown that majority of the club’s supporters think Arsenal need new investment.

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source: Mirror Football

However, the richest black man is not going to invest in Arsenal just yet. “I still hope, one day at the right price, that I’ll buy the team,” he said in an interview.

“I might buy it, not at a ridiculous price but a price that the owners won’t want to resist. I know my strategy.”

Dangote will only consider buying Arsenal after he is able to take his company to desired level. As his short-term growth plan, his Group has investments worth $16 billion planned for the next few years.

If Dangote will stand a chance of taking up the ownership status at the Emirates Stadium, he will need to convince Stan Kroenke who holds 66.64 percent stake in Arsenal and 29.11 percent held by Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov and London-based financier Farhad Moshiri through Red and White Sec Limited.

If the Nigerian convinces current owners of the club to sell, he will only be parting with 5.1 percent of his fortune as Arsenal is worth $1.3 billion. While a good offer may be welcomed by Red and White, it is unlikely that Kroenke will be swayed by Dangote’s offer. The American entrepreneur has a two-decade-old interest in sports business. The sports mogul bought his first team in 1995 through his Kroenke Sports Enterprises. He owns six professional franchises, including the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams, NBA’s Denver Nuggets and NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

Same cannot be said about Dangote, who is known for interests in cement, sugar and flour. He is also investing $11 billion in an oil refinery to be located near Lagos. But his multi-billion dollar investments globally focuses on consumer goods, oil and gas and construction. None of his assets is sports-related. Kroenke’s business is sports and it is the only thing he has more than the African billionaire whose fortune quadruples his own.

Whether Kroenke will give up his stake for a good sum remains to be seen, but like Dangote said, he knows his strategy. He will offer “a price that the owners won’t want to resist”.

 

Source: New feed25

China’s latest gift to Ivory Coast is a 60,000-seat stadium

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VENTURES AFRICA – When China’s Premier Li Keqiang toured Africa last year he pledged an additional $12 billion in credit and funding. The Chinese credit train is now in Ivory Coast, where China will finance the construction of a 60,000-seat stadium, which will be completed before 2021 when the West African country hosts the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Details of the financial structure of the stadium are not known, but the spokesman of the Ivorian sports ministry called the stadium “a gift from China,” adding that “Ivory Coast has just the space to put at its disposal.”

“The Olympic stadium of Ebimpe with 60,000 seats will allow the hosting of high-level football, athletics and rugby tournaments,” he told AFP.

The new stadium will be located in Abidjan. At the moment, the city can only boast of one stadium of international standard, the Houphouet-Boigny stadium opened in 1952. Work at the new stadium begins in January 2016 and will be completed in 2018. As part of the project, a sports city will also be constructed around the stadium in the suburb of Anyama. China is also currently building the biggest hydro-electric project in Ivory Coast, as well as a highway to connect capital Abidjan to the Ghana border.

China’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) flows to Africa increased from $317 million in 2004 to $2.52 billion in 2012. The country had in 2009 surpassed the United States as Africa’s largest trading partner. Although there have been several criticisms about China’s investment focus on the African continent, the country has continued to seal government-related deals and remains Africa’s biggest infrastructure investor.

Source: New feed25

Michael Jordan shows African sportsmen how to remain top earners after retirement

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African sportsmen can a learn from Michael Jordan on how rewarding it is to make critical business decisions that will return superior earnings well beyond their playing days and mega-bucks salaries.

VENTURES AFRICA – A few months ago, Michael Jordan officially joined the world’s exclusive and elite club of billionaires after landing the $1 billion valuation this week. The impressive achievement has predictably raised the conversation of how retired athletes can remain relevant enough to attract earnings commensurate with what it was during their active days or even slightly increased.

Jordan, initially drafted in 1984 by Chicago Bulls, has gone down as a legend of basketball after a hugely successful career which saw him win an impressive array of tournaments and create a number of records. Predictably, Jordan’s sporting talent spawned a great number of commercial activity as brands sought to associate themselves with basketball’s biggest name. However, since retirement in 2003, the “Jordan brand” has gotten increasingly stronger as the athlete ventured almost immediately into entrepreneurship.

Jordan is now a clear example of how sports biggest names can remain attractively relevant and maintain significant earning potential. In comparison, we take a look at how, through three of the biggest lessons from Jordan’s story, Africa’s sports men can increase business portfolios, enhance brand strength and remain key business players in the sporting sector, well beyond their playing days.

 

Maintain relevance

In the age of technological advancements in media and connectivity and the fast moving nature of news and events, it is essential for retired sports men to maintain impressive relevance levels in various ways.

Henry Schafer, Executive Vice-President at the Q Score Company, a firm that measures awareness and popularity among fans, has described Jordan’s enduring popularity among fans as unique. Jordan’s Q score has topped all other sportsmen every year since 1987 except in 1990 when he was surpassed. “Jordan is unique in that he has been able to maintain that emotional connection with his consumer base for more than 25 years,” Henry Schafer told Forbes.

This enduring connection and relevance within sports fans give Jordan a unique advantage. These potential retail customers form a major part of revenue for some of Jordan’s main businesses – the Jordan Brand, a division of American sports wear giants, Nike.

Also given Jordan’s continuing appeal, he remains a big attraction for endorsements. He reportedly earned $80 million in 2012 from endorsement deals with partners such as Nike, Gatorade, Upper Deck, 2K Sports, Presbyterian Healthcare, Five Star Fragrances and Hanes. His ability to pull revenue from endorsements two decades after retirement is an incredible achievement.

 

Leveraging brand strength

At the peak of his powers Jordan’s brand was incredibly strong. So strong that Nike thought it smart business to fashion out a division anchored solely on Jordan’s brand name. The famous Air Jordan brand has gone down as one of Nike’s most profitable business decisions. An initial five-year deal which cost Nike $500,000 laid the foundation for The Jordan Brand. It currently generates more than $1.5 billion globally.

Such is the strength of the Jordan shoe brand that in 2012 it had 58 percent of the U.S basketball shoe market, surpassing even its parent company, Nike, which controlled only 34 percent. For sportsmen, given the relatively transient period of being profoundly elite, it can be beneficial to explore long-term avenues of creating value based on brand power. While Nike’s runaway success with the Jordan Brand is largely respected, others have registered success that is, while not comparable with Jordan’s success, also impressive.

 

Investment is non-negotiable 

Fewer things guarantee long-term revenue generation and as such it is crucial for sportsmen to make proper business investments when at the peak of their careers. Despite’s Jordan’s impressive earnings in sports, the former Chicago Bulls star has investments across the United States. He owns seven restaurants, a motorsports team, a car dealership and, most crucially, a 90 percent stake in the basketball team Charlotte Hornets – an investment which was largely responsible for his inclusion in the list of billionaires. Jordan’s investment in Charlotte Hornets has proven to a masterstroke as the team’s recent increase in value following the sale of LA Clippers for $2 billion had positive effects on team values in the NBA. Similarly, basketball luminary LeBron James made $30 million after Beats by Dre was acquired by Apple. Smart and forward-thinking and guided investments such as these could prove to be crucial sources of income for sportsmen in future. Jordan’s financial success off the basketball court with his current valuation as a billionaire is all the more impressive. His career earnings (salaries) totalled only $90 million, a fraction of his current billionaire valuation.

Jordan’s model can serve as a guide of sorts for Africa’s elite sports men who earn millions during their active careers to ensure that their post-retirement lives are just as financially rewarding as their sporting days.

Source: New feed25

Kenyan insurer Britam to spend $1.9m on local sports sponsorship

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VENTURES AFRICA – Financial services group, British American Investment Company (Britam), yesterday, unveiled a three-year Sh75 million sponsorship agreement with Kenyan outfit, Mathare United Football Club. This is in addition to a Sh100 million invested in the branding and renovation of Nyayo National Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium situated in the capital Nairobi.

As part of the deal, which Britam director for marketing and corporate affairs Ngera Muthoga said would grow the company’s brand, the insurer will spend Sh25 million annually to support the Kenyan Premier League club while it will release Sh80 million for the next two years on branding and maintenance of Nyayo stadium facilities. Sh20 million will go to official logistics.

At a media briefing to unveil the branding deal, Culture and Arts secretary Hassan Wario noted that the ministry now looks to the private sector for sponsorship of sports activities in the country.

Following the deal, the Nyayo National Stadium, which was built in 1983, will be painted in Britam’s official colours of red, blue and white. The changing rooms, lavatories for spectators, as well as the VIP area, will also be renovated.

Source: New feed25

Gabon named venue for next African Cup of Nations

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VENTURES AFRICA – The Confederation of African Football has announced Gabon as the host of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals. The announcement was made after Gabon won a vote by the CAF executive committee in Cairo. The co-hosts of the 2012 edition beat competition from Algeria and Ghana replacing Libya, who withdrew owing to security concerns amid continuing political strife.

Gabon has also announced that four venues, Libreville, Franceville, Port Gentil and Oyem, will be used for the tournament. Officials from the country’s football federation promise that stadiums will be ready in 14 months for official use.

CAF has announced draws for the qualifying process of the 2017 tournament with thirteen groups featuring four teams each. All winners of each of the 13 groups will qualify automatically for the tournament while two best-placed runners-up will qualify as well. The final entrant will host Gabon who will play in the qualifiers but will not be awarded points.

The African Cup of Nations remains Africa’s premier football event. The last edition hosted by Equatorial Guinea, saw Ivory Coast victorious with a $10 million prize.

Draws for 2017 AFCON qualifiers:

Group A: Tunisia, Togo, Liberia, Djibouti

Group B: Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Central African Republic, Madagascar

Group C: Mali, Equatorial Guinea, Benin, South Sudan

Group D: Burkina Faso, Uganda, Botswana, Comoros

Group E: Zambia, Congo, Kenya, Guinea Bissau

Group F: Cape Verde, Morocco, Libya, Sao Tome

Group G: Nigeria, Egypt, Tanzania, Chad

Group H: Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Mauritius

Group I: Ivory Coast, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Gabon

Group J: Algeria, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Seychelles

Group K: Senegal, Niger, Namibia, Burundi

Group L: Guinea, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland

Group M: Cameroon, South Africa, The Gambia, Mauritania

 

 

 

Source: New feed25

Will Buhari’s presidency restore sanity to Nigeria’s sport sector?

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VENTURES AFRICA – On March 28, Nigerians made a historic choice. For the first time ever, an incumbent President suffered defeat at the polls in what many regard a milestone moment in Nigeria’s democracy. Already, many analysts are reporting on what President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari’s emergence will mean for the country’s politics and economy. In what appears to be a first sign of progress, market indices improved rapidly after the announcement of Buhari’s victory as Nigeria’s all-share index jumped 8.3 percent. With financial experts suggesting that the markets will be more responsive to a Buhari Presidency even before the polls, it appears the positive gains in the market could be long-term.

Whilst economic experts break down possible effects of a Buhari presidency on Nigeria’s polity and economy, we take a deeper look at what impact it might on the country’s sporting sector.

Appointments

Buhari has previously served as Nigeria’s leader with a two year stint at the helm of affairs between 1983 and 1985. In that period, despite his disposition as a military dictator, Buhari was notably keen on meritorious appointments in key positions. Having returned as a reformed democrat, it is unlikely that the man fondly referred to as the People’s General will deviate from the norm. This is excellent news for the sports sector as given the right appointments and the emphasis on following due process and protocol, Nigeria’s sports sector could be set to witness its most stable and qualified leadership in years. Over time, one of the main reservations of insiders has been the relative lack of professional expertise in sports administration among the upper brass of decision makers in Nigeria’s sports industry. But with the possibility of appointments based less on political leanings and more of qualifications and merit, a lack of direction and vision could well be a thing of the past.

Corruption and spending

Just as it has bedeviled other sectors of Nigeria, corruption has stalled development in Nigerian sports. A lack of accountability has consistently meant that funding has been shambolic while whatever progress was made in corporate partnership was shrouded in questionable secrecy. One of Buhari’s famous governance policies is zero tolerance of corruption and again, this is excellent news for the industry. Not only will there be funds but those in charge of these funds will be accountable for them and when need be, will be held accountable for irregular activity. History is replete with national teams being underfunded while ministry officials live luxuriously but if history is anything to go by, all that will be nonexistent under Buhari. In the event that funds are provided and distributed when due, various sporting federations can rapidly enjoy growth and development.

Strategy

With the aforementioned in place, a Buhari presidency could well set the stage for strategy to thrive. Long-term planning and strategy requires the alignment of various factors but with vision and direction from qualified leaders and financial discipline across board, whatever set goals will have far higher chances of being achieved. One of the main focus areas of the central strategy team will be to develop a multi-sports economy. Nigeria is historically a football nation and this has led to the neglect of other sports. Forward thinking nations, however skilled and popular their national football teams may be, have taken to ensuring equitable development across various sports as this has a ripple effect on the sports economy. First, there is wider infrastructural development with a larger pool of athletes coming through training programs. With proper nurturing, talented athletes can emerge as professionals and compete on bigger platforms. The development of multiple sports also means the provision of jobs for various coaching and administrative professionals in the field and can also lead to more possibilities for corporate partnership. Perhaps if in need of ideas, the new leaders of the strategy can look to South Africa who have had excellent results in their sports sector which various sports- cricket, rugby, football, basketball, golf and cycling- all thriving not just in sporting terms but also financially. Africa’s largest sports economy, without doubt, is South Africa’s but Nigeria- with the right thinking- can rival it.

The good news for sports industry insiders and enthusiasts is that a Buhari presidency means exactly that- a new beginning.

 

 

Source: New feed25

Solving the Attendance problem of African football

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VENTURES AFRICA – One of the major drawbacks of generating revenue in African sports, particularly football, is a relative lack of tangible widespread interest. With the absence of this interest, the various local football leagues in Africa are faced with low stadium attendances and low profile match-day experiences which in turn make for rather dour games. Across the world, one of the key components of football games and competition is the presence of the fans which adds an entirely unique element to these events. The atmosphere they create, the support they provide and the camaraderie they engage in all make a truly unique factor which, in many ways, elevates the game altogether.

In recent years, Africa has faced the widening gap between its revenue generation ability and those that obtain in global football circles as it aims to develop and sustain a continental football economy that can, at best compete with, and at worst, not appear too inferior to European leagues particularly. The continent’s leading lights have been handed further conviction of this possibility by the successes enjoyed by the Australian A-League and the American MLS. However, while some African leagues such as the South African PSL and the Moroccan Botola boast decent organization and attendance numbers, some- like the Egyptian and Tunisian league- are plagued with crowd trouble while others, such as the Nigerian Professional Football League, are renowned for shoddy organization and dodgy officiating.

There might be a litany of problems with local leagues in Africa but one which must be tackled urgently- alongside credible officiating and organization- is the lack of attendances at stadiums. Fans in Africa are famously passionate about football and it is paradoxical that these same fans pass up the opportunity of taking advantage of the proximity which the local leagues offer in favour of adding to television audience numbers for Europe’s leading leagues. However, if clubs in conjunction with league organizing companies attempt to fix some particular issue, they may well begin the long-term process of reversing or balancing the interests of African football fans.

 

Security

Egypt has suffered cases of crowd violence in the last three years with more than twenty people tragically killed in instances that occurred in recent years. As such, with the possibility of lax security becoming an apparent issue, it is not hard to understand fans who choose to remain at home rather than attend these games out of fear. Fixing stadium security is paramount as if fans view attending games as being a huge safety risk, attendances are bound to dwindle. It is pertinent to note also, that crowd violence is not an issue exclusive to Africa as only last year, a fan was killed in Spain after clashes with rivals but the difference and key to retaining supporters’ trust was the swift and strict response of the Spanish football authorities. Dissenting fans and groups (popularly called ultras in Spain and Italy) are kept in check by the cubs and by the league management bodies to ensure that unbridled passion does not evolve into safety hazards for other fans.

In Germany, the Bundesliga is ranked as one with one of the most globally attended games. The relaxed atmosphere at games make it a perfect day out for family outings which boosts attendance figures at various arenas in Germany.

It is imperative for club officials and for league bodies to address the security issues at various stadiums and adhere to tackling issues head-on to regain and retain the trust of match-going supporters.

 

Entertainment

Another reason supporters pay good money to see games is because of the entertainment value it offers. In many of Europe’s biggest leagues, the chance to see star names in action are a major attraction but asides that, the quality of football on display goes a long way in ensuring that, like every customer and service provider relationship, the fans in the stands get value for their money. Interestingly, the presence of big names does not always guarantee excellent football just as their absence does not automatically rid leagues of high quality football. The truth is that the delivery of football as a product on match-day is an interwoven process that involves the provision of adequate welfare packages and facilities and also organization on the part of the league body. Where shoddy officiating reigns supreme, like in the Nigerian Professional Football League, it is important to win the trust of supporters with credible refereeing so fans do not feel as though they are pawns in a high level game of match-fixing. The genuine factor of unpredictability and entertainment in football on matchdays gives fans extra incentive to pay good money to watch; it behoves on the clubs and league bodies to deliver this.

 

What do clubs stand to gain with full stands?

With sold-out stadiums on weekly basis, the possibilities are near endless for football clubs as they are provided with a tangible, sustainable and long-term source of critical revenue. Of the four key revenue streams in sports globally, gate receipts account for the highest percentage of earned revenue ahead of other components such as media rights, sponsorship and merchandise. Clearly, while other components involve a few variables, the match-going fans who buy tickets to watch their favourite teams play can provide teams with a stable source of income but only if conditions for attendances are right.

In a way, high level of attendances can spur on other revenue streams. A case in point is the newly launched football franchise in America’s MLS. New York City played their first ever home game two weeks ago and with a sold-out stadium, the club’s shops also witnessed a lot of activity. A particularly popular item was the official club scarf with official club outlets announcing that they posted the highest game day merchandise sales in MLS’ 20-year history. A total of 4,000 scarfs were sold netting the club between $80,000 and $120,000 on that day alone from the sale of just one line of items.

The congregation of large numbers also increases branding value in and around stadiums as the club can monetize the consistent presence of its brads with stadium ad panels, brand activation and multiple other channels.

As many of Africa’s local leagues push for rapid growth and formulas for achieving sustainable success, it is crucial that some focus lies on ensuring higher attendances at games. The fans are passionate about their football and about their teams and if the conditions are right, many global lessons have shown that these fans are generally willing to put their money where their mouth is.

 

 

Source: New feed25

Photo: Super Eagles players having dinner after beating Congo 2-0

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The Super Eagles this evening defeated their Congolese counterpart, the Red Devils, in a 2-0 match to get them closer to qualify for the 2015 African Cup of Nations holding next year.

The first half of the match ended 0-0 for both teams but the second half saw Nigeria’s Ikechukwu Uche and Aaron Samuel scoring a goal each to beat Congo.

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