Sport

Maximise revenue opportunities from gov’t digitisation drive – Bawumia charges GFA, others

Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has urged stakeholders in the Ghanaian sports industry to embrace government’s digitization drive to maximise the potential of sports to the youth and the Ghanaian economy.

Speaking as the Guest of Honour at the 46th SWAG Awards, Dr Bawumia stressed that sports have become a global industry providing opportunities to the youth and contributing immensely to economies around the world.

However, the Ghanaian sports industry, the Vice President noted, is lagging and has not realised its potential due to the failure to take advantage of the evolution of sports in different eras.

“In a recent interview with CNBC, I said that Ghana cannot miss out on the 4th Industrial Revolution after missing out on agriculture, industrial and ICT revolutions.

“Tonight, I want to state, and urge all sports stakeholders in Ghana that Ghana sports cannot afford to miss out on the opportunities of digitalization after missing out on television revenue and sustainable sponsorship,” Dr Bawumia said.

In 2019, during the launch of the Ghana premier league, Bawumia charged the Ghana Football Association(GFA) to introduce e-ticketing into their competitions, a move he said would increase revenue generation.

He reiterated that “the digitisation agenda of the government offers sports entities in Ghana a unique opportunity to transform their brands and maximise their revenue stream through e-membership, e-ticketing and e-commerce,” he added.

Maximise revenue opportunities from gov’t digitisation drive – Bawumia charges GFA, others
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia addresses SWAG and nominees
“By adopting the concept of digitisation, which is the norm for all sports brands around the world, Ghanaian sports entities, especially football clubs, should be able to rake in more revenues from their fans, even if they are a few thousand fans.”

The Vice President said there can’t be a better time for the Ghanaian sports industry to embrace the use of digital technology as means of generating income after the growth of the sports was badly affected by the impact of coronavirus.

Advancing a strong case for digitisation by Ghanaian sports entities, Dr. Bawumia referenced how clubs in Europe were able to keep themselves afloat during the peak of the pandemic through digitization, when competitions were suspended and games were played in empty stadia.

“Thanks to the power of television and other digital technologies, a number of leagues and competitions that were temporarily suspended returned, and millions of people around the world were reached and served their favourite sports, even as the world strived to find a solution to the pandemic.”

“And thanks to the power of sponsorship, merchandising, and digital technology, a number of European football clubs kept themselves afloat and to a considerable extent, survived the debilitating impact of the pandemic. Even though these clubs and sports federations lost revenues due to the economic impact of the pandemic, their core operation was not affected, and most of them did not require stimulus packages to survive.”

“The situation was, however, completely different in Africa, and here in Ghana in particular. Our sports federations and clubs were limited in maximising oportunities in television, sponsorship packages and e-commerce, even as they played in empty stadia.”

Maximise revenue opportunities from gov’t digitisation drive – Bawumia charges GFA, others
SWAG President Kwabena Yeboah hands achievement award to Hearts of Oak Board Chairman, Togbe Afede XIV
“The difference was that, while European sports federations and clubs had the luxury of leveraging on lucrative television deals, sponsorship packages and e-commerce, our federations and clubs were limited in leveraging these opportunities, which have become indispensable to sports development in this era.”

ALL HANDS APPROACH

Dr Bawumia continued that the negative impact of Covid-19 on sports in Ghana should be an opportunity for all stakeholders to reflect and have a second look at what they have been doing in Ghana sports that has not gone on well.

“Why have we not leveraged on media rights, sustainable sponsorship and lately digitization to re-position sports as a thriving industry in Ghana?” he quizzed.

“The moment for action is now, and I want to urge SWAG to spearhead the campaign to get our sports entities to embrace digitisation.

“Digitisation should be the new oil and gold for our sports entities.

Maximise revenue opportunities from gov’t digitisation drive – Bawumia charges GFA, others
Hasaacas Ladies Coach, Yussif Basigi lifts Coach of the Year award
“We have often stated throughout the last decade that sports has become big business. It has been so globally, especially in developed countries. Over there, the business nature of sports is not limited to only football. It is a huge industry encompassing all sports and all stakeholders, including sports writers.”

GOVERNMENT’S CONTINUOUS INVESTMENT AND SUPPORT

Dr. Bawumia assured members of the sports fraternity of the commitment of the government to support the development of sports in the country, to provide more opportunities for the youth.

To buttress the government’s commitment, he listed several investments the government has made in sports infrastructure development and the promotion of sports in the past five years.

These included the renovation of the country’s major sports stadia, ongoing construction of 10 multi-purpose youth sports centres in ten different regions, Covid-19 stimulus packages to the sports industry, investment in sports national teams, as well as the decision to host the 2023 African Games in Accra, which he said will ensure the provision of infrastructure for other sports disciplines.

Maximise revenue opportunities from gov’t digitisation drive – Bawumia charges GFA, others
Tokyo 2020 Olympics Bronze Medalist, Samuel Takyi
Dr Bawumia, who had earlier supported SWAG towards the organisation of the awards, also presented 10,000 Cedis each to winners of two special awards he adopted, which were the Female Footballer of the Year and the Sports Journalist of the Year.

Olympic Bronze Medalist, boxer Samuel Takyi was adjudged the SWAG Sports Personality of the Year.

myjoyonline.com

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