A major setback for the sports industry due to all sports competition suspended or postponed. This has had a significant impact on not only the fans of these sports but also those working in the industry and even the economies of different nations.

The three main income streams for sports leagues and competitions are broadcasting (sales of media rights), commercial (player transfer business, sponsorship, advertising partnerships, and other innovative commercial models ), and match day revenue (ticketing and hospitality).

Globally, mostly financially affected are sports broadcasters, big-ticket sponsors and this has had a significant ripple effect on the larger sports ecosystem. A very underestimated sector that is employment intensive, meaning that it generates more employment than its share in GDP. Therefore, with well-defined strategies private and public should have a special interest in protecting jobs in sport as an industry with a strong economic impact in terms of employment. In most countries in Africa, the primary stakeholders: players/coaches feel more heat than anyone else.

Media and sponsorship rights in Africa are not as expensive compared to global standards, yet 95% of sports engagements in Africa depend on broadcasters or betting companies who in return depend on active sports. In the event that active sports are suspended betting companies are dead too.

Most sponsorships and sports investments in Africa have been patronage-based. Covid19 is setting a foundation that most of the patronage-based investments will be suspended without a doubt and sports competitions and leagues will be forced to find ways to manage fans’ expectations, minimize operational disruptions, plan for future that is uncertain while negotiating with the current partners on way forward for continuity and sustainability.

Sports organizations have no two ways about it than be innovative and diversify to other revenue streams such as OTT, provide evidence for value, generate data supporting their potential, think of developing complex and progressive partnership models for sustainability and rethink their priorities. Unfortunately, most of the proposed interventions are data-intensive whilst sports data & tech in Africa are currently not considered a priority with most sports owners, leagues, competitions, and sponsors.

Hence #covid19 is opening new monetization and investment opportunities for data firms & sports tech in Africa. How else will #covid19 disrupt sports, and what impact will it have on #sportsbiz in Africa understanding that the entire sports ecosystem will need new ways to deal with continuity in a financially disrupted environment with suspended sponsorships and investments, layoffs, a possible decline in the long term attendance and engagements.

About the author


Quinter Odongo

Ms Quinter Odongo is a sports business executive and a leading figure on African sports based out in Kenya.

Her expertise is on Sustainable Sports Investment/Partnerships| Development through sports|Emerging SportsTech Accelerator|Women in Sports

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