WOMEN IN NIGERIAN SPORT: A BRAND OPPORTUNITY

Women have always been useful in portraying brands. This has been so for many years, and for obvious reasons: they have critical social roles, make up over half the population, are attractive to most and therefore hard to ignore, and above all redefining the role of gender across several fields. Images of women can be used to advertise products from Skincare Products, to Automobiles and of course Fashion lines.


Nigeria's Super Falcons, winners of the 2018 AWC.

In sport, it is slightly different. As it is with men, women are used to portray brands because of their standing in the different sports they represent. Serena Williams is one of the biggest names in tennis so she is attractive for that reason. Ronda Rousey is synonymous with kick-boxing while Alex Morgan is the USA’s version of a female Cristiano Ronaldo in football.

Just this last weekend, the Nigerian Super Falcons won the African Women Nations Cup for the 9th time, and the 3rd time in a row. This makes them Africa’s top female side by a mile. The feat also sees Nigeria remain as the hotbed for the best female football talent in Africa.

The FIFA Women World Cup will hold next year and preparations will kick off in that respect, for the different participating countries. Nigeria will be represented once again on the big stage so this presents a fabulous opportunity for the female football stars to be utilized even more.


When the male national team were set to head to Russia earlier this year, loads of campaigns were run. From Coke to Pepsi and even Star Larger Beer, the Super Eagles brand was everywhere. The same can be done for the Super Falcons.

First of all, the Super Falcons have been far more successful that the Super Eagles; with 9 African titles compared with the 3 titles won by the men. The Falcons have made it to the Quarter-Finals of the Women World Cup unlike the men who have not been past the 2nd Round. If the women have done this well, they have more to offer in terms of brand potential simply because everyone loves success.


They are not lacking star names either; for every Mikel Obi, there is an Asisat Oshoala or Francesca Ordega. For every Iwobi, there is a Desire Oparanozie and for every Francis Uzoho, there is a Tochukwu Oluechi. All the ladies mentioned here are heroines of a largely successful football side and people will want to see more of them. The next line of sport campaigns should feature these ladies.


Asisat Oshoala, has made a name for herself in football, which is yet to be fully leveraged by brands


When Nigeria produced its first female bobsled team at the Winter Olympics held earlier this year, the country was buzzing about the 3 ladies involved: Ngozi Onwumere, Seun Adigun, and Akuoma Omeoga. The likes of Zenith Bank and VISA signed them on for their campaigns alongside other major brand names. This can also be done with the Super Falcons as they head towards the Women World Cup.


Ngozi Onwumere, Seun Adigun, and Akuoma Omeoga attracted significant media and marketing attention in the run off to their first Olympic Bobsleigh entry


The ladies in the Super Falcons squad, just like the Super Eagles, can also be used in campaigns for the likes of Coke, Pepsi and even the financial institutions. South Africa will have loads of fun with the ladies who have ensured that the nation will be represented at the Women’s World Cup for the first time, so why can’t Nigeria make a big deal out of this? Have the ladies perform stunts to promote women football in Nigeria, feature them in your adverts, let them speak about issues affecting women in the country, let them lead women-oriented campaigns (alongside the likes of Maggi and Three Crowns).


Not only will they raise the profile of the Super Falcons in Nigeria, they will do so for the team in Africa and beyond. It will also raise of women football in Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world.


Nigeria generated so much buzz when the Super Eagles took on the world at Russia 2018. The country should not fail to miss out on France 2019.


Unwana Akpabio


Unwana holds a B.A in Mass Communication from Babcock University, Ogun State Nigeria, and an MSc. In Media and Communication from the School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos.

Ambitious and Opinionated, he is passionate about football and is an avid Sports Chatterbox.

Follow his Urban Soccer fan blog at @soccerchattabox (across all social media platforms)

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