It is important to note that over the years, Nigeria has been guided by well formulated policies for every of her designed programme with a view to achieving the set goals of such programmes. While most sectors of the Nigeria economy have been guided through this phase, the Nigeria government’s first official policy guideline for the sports subsector was only formulated in 1989. The 1989, 2000 and 2009 sports development policies have no doubt been road maps for achieving sports development in Nigeria. The National Sports Policy (2009) particularly recognises the need for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) as a way of further ensuring sports development especially against the backdrop that government alone cannot continue to fund sports and the need for the private sector to assist in developing sports through sports marketing strategies. Despite these lofty policies, the extent of implementation and result oriented outcomes are still some mirage.
Sport marketing consist of all activities designed to meet the needs and wants of sports consumers through exchange processes. These could be the marketing of sports products and services directly to consumers of sports, and marketing of other consumer and industrial products or services through the use of sports promotions. Sport marketing in Nigeria depict on the one hand, the marketing of sports products and services directly to the consumers of sports by sports goods manufacturers such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Puma and so on while on the other hand, it could be the marketing of other consumer and industrial products or services through the use of sports promotions as is the case when Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola, Cadbury, MTN, GLOBACOM and so on sponsor sports programmes thus advertising their firms or wares and further stated that sports marketing would be effective in Nigeria if sports activities are designed by the Nigeria sports sector to meet the sports needs and wants of sports consumers through exchange processes that are aimed at developing sports and generating revenue that will boost the Nigeria economy.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria Economic Transformation Blueprint on Nigeria Vision 20:2020 (2009) intends Nigeria to have a large, strong, diversified, sustainable and competitive economy that effectively harnesses the talents and energies of its people and responsibly exploits its natural endowments to guarantee a high standard of living and equality of its citizens by the year 2020. It also intends the Nigeria economy to grow at an average of 13.8 per cent during the time horizon thus becoming a globally competitive economy that is resilient and diversified with a globally competitive manufacturing sector that is highly integrated and contributes no less than 20 per cent Gross Domestic Product.
It further noted that if well harnessed, sports have the potential to create business opportunities and employment, thereby enhancing income and reducing poverty. The Vision 20:2020 seeks to stimulate domestic and foreign trade in value adding goods and services as well as foster strong linkages among all sectors of the economy through the production of textiles, wearing apparels and leather as part of the industrial prongs in stimulating the economy. In this regard, Akarah’s (2012) conceptual model for effective sports marketing in Nigeria identified the role of sports goods manufacturers as part of the sports producers thus generating revenue for the Nigeria economy especially, as the regional, zonal and branch offices that would be set up would create employment opportunities as well as enhance the remittance of taxes and tariffs that will further help to boost the economy.
Sports Administration in Nigeria
The National Sports Policy (2009) and the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1997) report on Vision 2010 acknowledge that, sports administration and practice in Nigeria have taken a new dimension, thereby becoming a big commercial venture and employer of labour. However, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Sports Council in 1962 now renamed the National Sports Commission controls, regulates and promotes sports in Nigeria (National Sports Policy 2000, 2009; Federal Republic of Nigeria (1997) Vision 2010).
Sports Funding and Development
The Nigeria government has been identified as being the major proprietor of sports in terms of funding and administration (National Sports Policy, 2009; Abone, 2003; Amuchie, 2003; Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1997; Kienka, 1990). The National Sports Policy (2009) includes the obligations of the three tiers of Government (Federal, State and Local Governments) amongst others to be; providing enabling legislation for sports, formulation and review of the National Sports Policy, development and maintenance of government sports facilities, creation of conducive environment for participation of sports, ensuring adequate budgetary allocations for sports, organizing and funding of researches in sports as well as ensuring that at least 5% of the total budget for sports is earmarked for maintenance of sports facilities and infrastructure with has led to the rise of good betting platforms like Netbet.
The Nigeria government no doubt realises the impact of funding towards sports development in Nigeria and notes that; the relatively high overhead costs associated with financing sports programmes, camping, training and competitions continue to hinder its development. Toward this end, the National Sports Policy (2009) notes that, it is necessary to encourage greater financial support for sporting activities. Therefore, the National Sports Commission, its agencies and affiliates shall amongst others seek to, offer incentives that would encourage financial assistance from the private sector for sports programmes, undertake fund raising programmes to enhance financing of their activities, encourage the private sector to contribute to developing sports.
It would be noteworthy to mention that President Goodluck Jonathan-administration identified poor and inadequate facilities and infrastructure, poor funding and poor sports administration as part of the dwindling sports fortunes in Nigeria (Bassey, 2012). Sports have become big business and as a result, government cannot solely continue to fund sports in Nigeria especially when in recent years, an array of cities throughout the world have incorporated sports events into their economic development mix (National Sports Policy, 2009; Amuchie, 2003; Aiyejuyo and Ayoade, 2002; Chalip and Leyns, 2002). The National Sports Policy (2009) also identifies governments’ understanding that facilities are major considerations and determinants of sports developments as, they provide standard settings for fitness, recreation and competition programmes.
Toward this end, government in conjunction with stakeholders shall provide standard sports facilities and equipment at national, state and local government levels as well as ensure availability of sporting facilities in schools, communities and mass housing arena.