Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Illogic of Lagerback Hire (NFF hires another coach)

Someone needs to explain to me how Nigerian sport got to this sorry past. Lars Lagerback becomes Nigerians’ 35th National coach! in a country that would just be 50 in October. The world cup takes place every four years, it therefore means that Nigeria has had only 12 chances at the world cup, of which it has qualified 6 times (starting from 1990).

It’s important to recite the numbers again, just so we can point out the inconsistencies in our football management. If Lagerback becomes the 35th Coach, it means that Nigeria changes its coaches an average of 3 coaches every 4 years. Any surprise at the result we get at the World Cup?

Come to think of it, what magic did we expect Lagerback to deliver to us within 4 months? Let’s talk about his fat salary for starters, is it not an irony that the guy gets to pocket 195 Million Naira with pecks within 4 months when Shuaibu Ahomdu, the coach that got Nigeria the qualification in the first place, goes home with a paltry 30+ Million in a Year. Haba Dudu (Black man) una wickedness too much.

Just so that my comparison is seen to be fair, I went on the web to do some research on the two coaches and found some startling things. This Lagerback that Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) considers is the Nigerian messiah actually resigned as his country’s national team coach because he could not get them qualification for the World Cup. How convenient! Like there would some work for him to do till the year end after such a woeful outing? That is the guy, NFF and Nigerian aficionado believe would wrought magic in South Africa. Compare for yourself.

Lagerback: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lars_Lagerb├Ąck

Ahmodu: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaibu_Amodu

Am not expecting magic in South Africa but then we are a country in denial, we live on hope where there seem to be no one. We wax spiritually, if need be (that is God’s will for us), when that fails as it often does (remember other teams serve God too), we switch to the blame game, after all we never prepared, and the boys are too lazy and too proud: you would think they held us at gun point to put them in the team? And finally when that fails too, we blame the weeping boy: “Government”!. I wish I have met that guy called “Government”; I would commend him, for being such red neck and notorious person!

The hiring of Lagerback is stupid, ill timed and froth of parochial interests. The difference between Ahmodu and Lagerback is not much, except that Lagerback is WHITE, from Sweden and he has the BALLS to ask for such a huge figure (i.e. salary) and he got it. Ahmodu even though has one (am talking about his Balls) is too Nigerian and familiar for us to give him the respect he deserves… Pull Him Down (PHD) syndrome will not allow us. Bad Belle people would ask what KIND of work has he done (or is going to do) to deserve such money! For those of us who does know (and most likely will never know) is what Lagerback and his cohorts want to show us in June in South Africa. I am keeping my fingers crossed. Just don’t say I did not tell you guys not lose any sleep oh.

Hiring Lagerback to me is akin to recruiting a house help in October, no matter what type of human resource (HR) skills you may possess, you are apt to selecting and getting a house help that has been rejected by many madams, tossed around and they have sworn that that they would rather not have a house help than to have them (and you know anything that can push a Naija woman to swear…)

Nigeria has money to waste! Its selection process re-confirms it. They should have just let Ahmodu be but bad belle people had their way. I rest my case.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

D’banj Vs 2Face: How to Leverage Your Success


You may have heard their music at Children’s birthday parties or seen their posters on billboards across the country. And if you are young at heart would definitely have seen them strut their stuff in musical concerts locally and overseas and of course seen or heard them on musical channels such as Sound City MTV Base and your local TV or Radio stations!

Nigerian musicians have truly come of age, through dint of hard work, a culture change and a large dose of luck. Either ways Nigerian musical stars are making waves not only in Nigeria but across Africa; which got me thinking aside from the money and fame associated with this business, how have some of our stars leveraged their new found fame to better themselves or their families . In this article I wish to draw some parallel between D’Banj and 2Face (two artist that I like) as music performers in this age and to point out some of the marketing and business lessons that readily comes to mind as we follow their careers.

a. In Show Business Image is Everything: Just take D’Banj for example, this guy is truly a show biz impresario, he understands how to manage his image (or should the accolades go to his manager whichever). The guy sure knows how to entertain both on and off stage. I am not saying 2Face does not know how to entertain but come to think of it, who would you say has more brand equity? What does 2Face do? He goes about impregnating women, getting robbed or involves himself in one scrap or the other. Little wonder he gets little or no endorsement (after Guinness Smooth, what other product has he not endorsed?). It’s not like D’Banj is a saint when it comes to women but maybe he is just smoother or slicker than 2Face!

b. Promote Your Product and Brand at the Slightest Opportunity: No one does it better than the D’Banj: Even in his music, D’banj is promoting himself: “I AM the D’Banj” and how does 2Face brand himself he says “Do Baba” whatever that means… It sounds crass to moi. Could the level of education have something to do with it? See what D’Banj and Don Jazzy have done with Mo Hits and you understand what I mean.

c. Level of Education or Exposure Matters: Am not sure and I stand to be corrected, 2Face did not finish secondary school and even if he did, did not go to university but D’Banj finished from LASU. Could this have anything to do with the way they approach things? Am just asking and not insinuating anything… Filling the gaps.

d. Extend Your Brand Where Possible: This is one area you have to hand it to D’banj. This guy without a doubt is a marketing delight. D’banj has endorsed many products from Glo Mobile lines to Wristwatches (Aires – a very expensive wrist watch at that), has a show called “Koko Mansion “(even though I have never watched any episode, I have HiTV but no money to pay for subscription..Dah Dah), being a guest at Big Brother Show, name it, he has done it…. 2Face is nowhere to be found!

e. Give Yourself Various Memorable Brand Names: Remember the artist called Prince? D’Banj goes by various aliases that we can all remember: Mr. Entertainer, Kokomaster, “I AM the D'banj”. He gave us words and phrases like Kokolete, Ogbono fele fele (It’s HOT). Not that I would be found using such terminologies suffice to say he help improve our Naija vocabulary.

f. Create or Utilize a Vehicle or Platform You Can Control: This is the tricky one but it has also proved successful when are branding any product. You can even have your own fan club (thanks to social networking sites like Facebook it’s so easy now to create a fan page). Back to D’Banj and 2Face, they have also explored other platforms/vehicle they can use to connect to their fans and the one that I like the most is the music label vehicle (not a new innovation though). I don’t know whose idea it is but “Mo Hit” is by far one of the most successful record label in Nigeria boasting of artist like Wande Coal, D’Banj, IkeChukwu and of course Don Jazzy co-coordinating everything. Every single opportunity these guys have they promote” Mo Hit”. This is like what 50 Cent has tried to do with G-Unit! Terry G and Timaya are trying very hard to copy them.

Before I am accused of being a PR agent of D’Banj, let me state here that I prefer 2Face music to D’banj (even though I like both of them: now am beginning to sound like I am speaking from both sides of my mouth). I am however pained that though 2Face may have broken more grounds than any artist in recent times, have not truly leveraged this position to its full potential.

That we are actually writing and comparing Nigerian Artist is some indication of some progress. If you don’t believe our artist are making any impact, you thought wrong. Please read page 140 of “The African Report: Celebrity: Nigerian Pop Culture Revolution” and before you write off the magazine one of those magazine. The African Report is a French magazine with readership across Africa and it was the first magazine to forewarn us of the challenges being faced by the Nigerian Banks and most of the prediction and rating done by the magazine came to pass (even though a lot of people kick against it when the story about our banks came out)

Have a lovely working week ahead. Xman