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Sports Features of Thursday, 14 February 2008

Source: Bolus, Mercy Adede

Re-positioning Black star ready for 2010 World Cup Football- re visited

With Ghana now the focus of world top classes football our black stars are currently cash cows for many Football Association.

Those who held the highest power in the Ghana football Association and saw the big picture are elated with the outcome of the2008 Cup of Nations. Some of the officials fought to the High court because of their stance as well as their strategic thinking skills about the effectiveness of the management role in footbal. Sadly were misunderstood. These people saw the challenges that Ghana might have faced if management were ill prepared about their strategic role. Today, Ghana has been praised by the FIFA for holding the most successful Africa World Cup of nations. Who takes the credit though? It is certainly not only the black stars and their coach but also the strategic planners from the top management both past and present the football think tanks right to the ordinary gatekeeper of all our stadiums.

Those who were lucky to witness this occasion in Ghana portrayed Ghana in a remarkable way and conducted themselves well beyond expectations. Well done for such an effort.

Those who engineered the Africa World Cup of Nation, doing the underground works in marketing and negotiations, deserve a standing elevation form all Ghanaians. That vision that previous leadership of the Ghana Football association had is paying off and currently Ghana on every lip worldwide. This is a free public relation for Ghana. Can’t we lucky.

This is an open invitation for tourism and good business thus creating the environment for our economic growth and market share in the tourism market.

The beauty of the black stars is the display of unity they openly showed to the world, however are we as a country cashing in e some marketing strategies that Ghana positioned the black stars after these show down in the Africa Cup of Nations? .

Football is a multi-billion-dollar affair; Ghana should never underestimate this and used data collected, measured and recorded to evaluate our position hence repositioning Ghana to the highest esteem as a world top class one.

Ghana Football Association must now focus on generating more funds to train and develop more youths in every region and also build sports a University or specialist sports colleges for youths interested in sporting activities to blossom.

We now have stadium for the youths particularly under 16 ‘s to taste the playing on real stadiums.

Football training cost is soaring high yet Ghana does not have that pot of money earmarked to tackle this daunting challenge.

A window of opportunity in the heat of the moment, with Ghana Black Star flag high means Ghana needs to cash in quick engaging in money generating initiatives.

Marketing strategies and workable marketing plan need to be explored promptly by GFA and the Government with effective strategies.

Huge photos of Stephen Appiah, Michael Essien, Agogo, Muntari and John Mensah must now be placed our Airports boost our tourism potential and our economic aspirations.

It would be nice to have on Our Golden Tree Chocolate photos of the players on the chocolates. Ghana needs to bend with the wind in branding itself.

We need to have our own replica of the Africa world cup footballs, trainers, curtains, and paper napkins with the names of our squad on it. Also table clothes, kitchen towels, flower vase etc in the Ghana National colours for sale to tourists and ourselves as memorabilia. Actually we did extremely well this time however more of these strategies would be even better.

Post cards of the black stars might be worth exploring with consent from the black stars though.

Stamps, mugs with, posters, plate mats, school bags should all have pictures of our black stars to re-positioned black stars in every product leading to the next World cup.

Towns where these players originally come from may need to have photos of their hero in their Universities, Secondary Schools, Nursery and Primary schools, Libraries, community centres named after them just until the next 2 years. Anything to link the players to a town or cities or villages is crucial. All our Embassies around the world may need to have photos of our players in their foyers to remind people that Ghana is the number in football world class football.

Travelling agencies all over Ghana need to follow this example and of displaying memorabilia of our black stars.

The sale of T-shirts, flags, pencils, rubbers, and art & craft souvenirs also to use photo players hence raising our profile at all times at our Airports.

This is an effective way of promoting Ghana in a positive way.

Biographies of the players need to be publicised as the world would need to know more about the teams

Museum in regions in Ghana may need to have huge photos of our players to attract the youth of today visiting such places.

Ghana needs a sport museum to be a show piece of the world Africa football just like Madam Tussaud Museum, however we could make our own with plaster casts or mud statues of the players etc.

Schools in which the players attended may need a make over just in case the world would like to trace the footsteps of our black stars squad so that we do not loose our pride.

As a nation we need to consider the honour give to our squad from now. Our players have had the world exposure and there fore are no longer the people we used to know!

Ghana as a nation and Africa as a whole need to give due respect to the world football players as they hold the torch of country by linking us to the global world.

These are opportunities for any organisation to capture with marketing initiatives to would prolong the life cycle of the legacy of the African World Cup.

Ghana must grasp this wonderful opportunity to re-position us on the global map using all marketing competitive advantage of Black Star, advancements and our natural resources in the way of tourism. Instead of our street hawkers selling toilet rolls and biscuits perhaps they might rather invest in selling T-shirt of our black stars and other memorabilia.

If Ghana have such qualities on the cards then all we need to do is to flaunt it to the whole wide world.

As a nation we must capture the Euphoria Black Star is given to Ghana. Everyone open loves sensational news. Hence, we must consider cashing in on these opportunities shared.

Let keep selling the memorabilia of the black stars and keep the momentum going until 2010.

This next round of Africa Cup of nations definitely we aim to bring the Golden Cup home to Ghana.

Ghana has proved to be the world top class brand of players, which should not be underestimated at all.

The black stars are all top class players and the world class players.

No one should mistake in our players as have every confidence in them to reach their full potential that bring the World Cup home to Ghana.

Finally, I just want to use this opportunity to thank those involved with the strategic planning of this Africa World Cup of Nations two years ago until now. You’re obvious the determination, resilience and tenacity have repositioned Ghana football Association to the world stage.

The coach played a significant role in his subtleties of allaying anxiety among the players when time was crucial.

2008 have been an African show down with brilliant talents displayed by of all the African world class top players. Thus making this African World Cup of Nations a truly successful on in history. Everyone played an excellent role and I loved the way Marcel Desailly marketed Ghana for what it is.

Every Ghanaian worldwide should stand tall and openly display a memorabilia of Ghana. This period is our moment of fame and glories, which needs to be prolonging well into 2010.