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Entertainment / Events / The Arts

The Nigerian entertainment sector led by its film industry, Nollywood is one of the fastest growing entertainment industries in the world. Now, the third largest movie industry in the world, Nolllywood has begun experiencing a steady growth phase and has begun pulling in tremendous amounts of investments with blockbusters like Chimamanda Adichie’s “Half of a Yellow Sun” costing upwards of N1 billion to produce. With the increasing proliferation of top quality people, top quality content and top quality media, the industry is only set to experience even more growth in the coming years. The celebratory culture of the Nigerian people is also helping to drive growth in the events management sector.

With significant investments at stake, increasingly unpredictable consumers, constantly evolving technologies and intensifying competition, players in the industry are faced with potent opportunities but significant downside risks.

Sawubona works with clients in the industry to steer through and take advantage of the opportunities in the marketplace whilst mitigating market risks. Our service portfolio caters to the needs of each client, through venture support in setting up a new enterprise, building digital capabilities, business strategy interventions, marketing and branding support, performance management assessment and growth consulting. Our goal is to work with clients to generate enduring results.

Lagos Islanders

Lagos Islanders is one of the most decorated sports clubs in Nigeria, having won 5 National League Championships between 1997 and 2001. The club was bought over by a group of private investors who had to restructure the commercial and sporting divisions of the club.

Commercial Restructuring: Sawubona developed a new commercial strategy for the club, with a focus on moving the club to its home grounds, the Landmark Arena, Victoria Island and building a robust structure for sponsorship income and merchandise sales. Sawubona worked with Lagos Islanders in structuring an agreement with the owners of the Landmark Arena, making Landmark an official sponsor of the club and with naming rights to the venue of the Club’s home games.

Lagos Islanders now plays its home games from Landmark Arena, revolutionising the nexus between sports and entertainment in Nigeria. Sawubona is currently working with the Lagos Islanders to deepen the commercial potential of professional basketball in Nigeria.

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Zapphaire Events decided to optimise its operations by improving people and process efficiency.

Organisational Transformation: Sawubona was engaged to improve the efficiency of Zapphaire’s operations. Sawubona did a people and process audit, to identify structural challenges in the system. Sawubona’s recommendations include the people redeployment, development of job descriptions and key performance indicators, role creation, recruitment and selection, and development of a strategic business plan.

“They (Sawubona) were very helpful and cared very much about the organization they were working with. They had great ideas and helped with the processes of the company. It was a pleasure working with them.”

Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Zapphaire Events Limited.

Expert View

Sports Commercialisation Can Create Wealth in Nigeria

In this interview, Ugo Udezue, Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Islanders Basketball Club and Vice President, Player Representation, BDA Sports Management, United States spoke with Sawubona on the opportunities in the sports industry in Nigeria.

What is your assessment of the Nigerian sports industry in 2014?

The Nigeria sports industry is mostly untapped and in archaic ages. The infrastructures are deficient and there is no management professional expertise in existing sports entities. I believe this is a result of our cultural and perceptive override of the business of the sports.

What do you think are the opportunities for sport franchises in Nigeria and to what extent do you think these opportunities have been exploited?

The opportunities are mostly untapped, but very much a gold mine for proficient private investors. I use the word proficient because it cannot be done by novices or people who assume they understand sports. It has to be done by industry professionals.

You recently purchased the Lagos Islanders Basketball Club, one of the most popular sports clubs in Nigeria. Tell us about the prospects for the Islanders in 2015 and what other sport franchise owners or prospective investors can learn from your investment.

We just lit the fire in the Nigerian sports industry with the purchase of the Lagos Islanders. Our program will write the manuscript for all other sports endeavors in the country for years to come. I cannot predict our ceiling or prospects. Our opportunities will be endless and we intend to capitalize on all one of them.

In what ways can government and policy makers aid the wealth creation potential of the sports industry?

We do not expect handouts from corporations or government. Our product will attract both and speak for itself. The time has passed where sports was treated as charity. We will provide the perfect setting for sports and entertainment to exist and investors and sponsors will see the opportunities themselves. Our business will be value driven and we will expect the same for our partners.

Nigeria’s Creative Industry is Extremely Bankable

Emem-smEmem Ema, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, One Management in this interview with Sawubona, makes a case for large scale investments in Nigeria’s creative industry to unlock its latent opportunities.

Will you say 2014 saw a better understanding of the wealth-creation value of the creative industries?

I think that is a matter of perspective, depends on who is doing the looking or asking. I think in 2014, the creative industries got some attention from surprising quarters. I guess it is more of curiosity around how an industry can thrive with little or no structure. They know wealth is being created, the question is how can we get in without getting burnt, especially since we do not have a full understanding of it.

The issue of piracy has been an industry threat. Is the industry today better able to deal with this threat than say a few years ago?

If you asked if piracy is the bane of the industry (film, music, print) fifteen years ago, I would answer without a doubt in the affirmative. However that isn’t the issue in the music and film industry as, there is a more streamlined approach and system in the manufacturing and distribution of these products.

Given the challenges of distribution and piracy, how bankable is the industry in Nigeria?

Piracy is not a challenge in the industry right now; the creative industry is extremely bankable when the proper attention is paid to detail. Also there is bankability when systems are set up to ensure investments work smoothly. It starts with a change in the mind-set and understanding. There are several hundreds of revenue-earning products from this industry asides the apparent, music and film sectors.

We have seen a couple of corporate heavyweights like Nigerian Breweries and MTN take positions in industries one would expect to be driven by startup enterprises. What impact does this have on creativity and risk taking at the startup level?

Simple! They have seen the opportunities in the industry and have the financial muscle to move faster and wider than a startup would. When Richard Branson started Virgin, he employed systems that were already in place and built the empire we all see today. It started with filling a need in the creative industry. Any smart startup will look for ways to either collaborate with them from a particular level a la Apple or look for a way to go about it as an independent. They may also make themselves attractive to have access to their platform and network; think Facebook/Google.

What are your perspectives on the industry for 2015?

Barring the activities of elections and all, I believe 2015 will provide, if the plans some of us have in the industry see the light of day, paradigm shifts. With these paradigm shifts, people not only carry their entertainment with them, it becomes a part of their lifestyle. I believe there will be more clarity on the tangibility of the industry than previous years. Also get ready to see more sectors blossom in 2015 if there is no recession.

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