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Monitor your players’ social media pages – Ghana Women’s Premier League clubs told

Published on: 11 April 2022

General Manager in charge of News and Digital Platforms at Media General, Michael Oti Adjei has urged executives of Ghana Women’s Premier League clubs to closely monitor the activities of their players on social media.

This, he says, will not only ensure discipline in the players’ ranks but also help in managing and consolidating the brands of the clubs.

“You have to monitor what your players put out. In fact, you must have a policy for your players, every serious organization has a social media policy,” Mr Oti-Adjei said. “That is why people are sacked from workplaces for the things they put out on social media.”

Mr. Oti-Adjei was speaking on the use of social media in sports marketing at the third edition of this year’s mentorship programme for Ghana Women’s Premier League (GWPL) clubs organized by sports betting giant, Betway.

This training event forms part of the sports betting company’s commitment as the official development partner of the Ghana Women’s Premier League.

The event was simultaneously held at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra and the Golden Bean Hotel in Kumasi, with the two venues linked up through video conferencing.

Representatives from women’s football clubs in Ghana attended the event on Thursday, April 7, 2022, to learn skills to help them market their brands, secure sponsorship deals, enjoy public goodwill and engage better with fans.

Mr Oti-Adjei advised the club executives to pay critical attention to what they publish on their social media pages. He explained that being intentional and strategic about what is published on social media can drive conversations among fans and help attract potential sponsors.

“Every football club must be where their fans are. Whether you know them individually or not,” he said. There are so many people sitting on social media. Your fans automatically sit there,” he said, urging them to develop content strategies that help to engage with the fans.

“You must always have a good content plan; it goes without saying. Having no content plan is like going to train and not having an idea what you are going to train on today; it doesn’t work like that,” he said

Mr Oti Adjei pointed out some mistakes that are commonly made by clubs on social media, stating there is a need for them to employ dedicated professional social media managers.

“You need community managers,” he said. “I know it’s difficult because we can’t pay our doctors, physios, kit managers and the rest but you can’t run an efficient football club these days without social media community managers. It doesn’t matter whether it is full time or part-time, get somebody whose commitment is to give you presence on social media.”

Speaking on how to attract prospective sponsors, renowned sports marketer and former Hearts of Oak, Managing Director Neil Armstrong-Msortagbe opined that women’s football clubs must use their unique attributes to project their brand identity.

He advised that they ought to create content around their positive traits since “nobody can associate their brand with negativity.”

“Use what you have. What do we have as women’s football clubs?” Mr Armstrong-Msortagbe quizzed.

“Sometimes if you don’t know what you have, you can’t use it. Women are influential, I can talk from personal experience. So I am asking how do we use these traits of women to make our game attractive?”

These are the things we use; using what you have, not what you don’t have. A lot of times, we are thinking of what we don’t have”

He counselled teams in the Women’s Premier League to improve their relationship with sponsors and other club partners to better their chances of securing major sponsorship deals.

Julia Stuart, a presenter from South African TV outfit, SuperSport, who was another trainer at the workshop, advised footballers and club executives to strive to set themselves apart from the masses by paying attention to branding.

“Personal Branding is the practice of marketing people and their careers as brands. It’s an ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation and impression of an individual group or organisation,” she explained.

She iterated that having a strong brand and social media presence can create an avenue for sportsmen to leverage their identities to work as brand ambassadors or promotors because “we live in an age of influencers where people have found new ways of making money in the digital space.”

“We have the tendency to think if we work hard enough, we’ll get noticed but the truth is marketing and personal branding is part of the game,” she said.

The sports presenter cited some sports personalities who have built strong personal brands over the years such as Jack Grealish, Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams, Ian Wright and others whom she said are “focused, consistent and authentic”.

Chief Executive Officer of South African sports agency, Forwardzone, Ashley Kotzin on his part advised Ghanaian women’s football clubs to build a formidable brand because it is key to attracting sponsors who play a crucial role in every sport.

“As we know in the sporting ecosystem, we need sponsors, we need funding. Generally, money is the key that can tie all our great plans together,” he said.

“Oftentimes we have excellent plans, excellent strategic ideas but we know that we need to have partners to make that happen.”

Mr Kotzin defined sports marketing as: “the marketing strategy which is aimed at promoting sports events, products, teams, services and athletes.

The ability to build and develop brands that partners or sponsors would want to be involved with, so the development of your leagues, programmes, teams, athletes and brands; all of these things are potentially marketable commodities that we can find sponsors for,” Mr Kotzin added.

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