Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, will host an International Sports Business Conference, aimed at educating stakeholders on sports marketing, sponsorship, media coverage, branding, value chain benefits, sports technology, sports business/management, among others.
Dike Dimiri, a renowned sports business executive, described the proposed conference, as a necessary step towards the attainment of globally acceptable standards in sports business management in Nigeria.
Dimiri, who is the chairman of Abia State Table Tennis Association and president of Aba Premier League Table Tennis, said that the goal of the conference is to bring sports business stakeholders together, including sports equipment and kit manufacturers, broadcasters and the financiers, who provide money for associated sports infrastructure and capital in sports.
The conference, which is expected to be held in May 2024, in Aba, could be the pioneer event where a range of topics relevant to the sports industry, like marketing, sponsorship, media coverage, branding, value chains benefits, sports technology, sports business/management and athlete development and remuneration are properly discussed and documented.
Dimiri, who believes that enthusiasm for sports is not enough to replace skills when it comes to management and administration of sports, insists that proper management is the bedrock of every business, including sports, stressing that today’s sports industry is no longer a stand-alone affair.
According to him “Today, the strong interconnection between sports, media and technology is evident for all to see. The actual playing of sports requires technology to record, analyze and transmit it to viewers, using various media, both digital and analog, across various devices TV, phones and computers and this is part of the justification for an international conference, the kind of which we are planning for May 2024”
“This interconnection that I have mentioned also requires skilled human capacity to drive it. All of these elements and stakeholders hardly operate individually, you have to deliberately bring all of them together under one roof to interact. “The goal of the Aba International Sports Business Conference is to bring these stakeholders together.
“This conference will bring all these people together in Aba, to build out the sports industry and help us do business easily in one place”, he said.
Explaining the reason behind the date for the conference, Dimiri said that the organisers tentatively slated it for sometime in May 2024, because it is a big event and will require the active participation of the State Government, who is a key player in the sports business industry.
In Dimiri’s words “This suggested time frame will allow for all the required logistics and sensitisation to be effectively executed, working actively with Aba’s hospitality industry in readiness for the local and international guests, casual visitors and other sports business game changers expected to attend,”
The renowned sports business executive, stressed that after the maiden edition of the conference, it is expected that it will become an annual event, where every achievement will be reviewed and necessary adjustments discussed and applied to make the sports industry better.
Dimiri said that the organisers expect that the aftermath of the conference will push club owners across various sports to connect and grow with broadcasters, athletes, sports goods manufacturers, media generally and technology platform operators.
He said that they equally expect the conference to result in all the above mentioned stakeholders to hear and understand the government’s short and medium term plans, which will enable them to plan their investments alongside the policies.
According to him, ultimately the synergy between the public and private sector participants in the sports industry, will result in accelerated development of professional sports, growth for the Abia State economy and Nigeria generally.