Sports Business Industry In Nigeria Untapped – Udezue

Sports Business Industry In Nigeria Untapped Udezue

CEO of AFA Sports, Ugo Udezue, is a renowned speaker and thought leader in sports, media, and entrepreneurship. Recognized as a pioneer in African sports, he has been featured in prestigious media outlets such as Forbes Africa, CNN, and ESPN.

Through his leadership at AFA Sports, Udezue aims to elevate sports in Africa and provide a platform for African athletes to shine internationally. AFA Sports has evolved from a startup to one of Africa’s most prominent sports and athleisure brands.

Notably, AFA Sports made history as the first African brand in the Olympics, providing Team Nigeria with branded jerseys for the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.

Udezue’s expertise in treating sports as a business is highlighted in his interview with journalists, where he discusses how this approach can contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth.

Can you provide an overview of the current landscape of the sports business industry in Nigeria, including key trends and developments?

The sports business industry in Nigeria is still very much untapped. We have not started looking at sports as a business. Sports endeavors are either philanthropic, politics or personal promotion.

The Nigerian environment and society is ripe for sports business but will take a lot of courage and passion to push sports business endeavors at this point.

What are the main challenges facing sports merchandising companies in Nigeria, and how are you addressing them at AFA Sports?

The sports apparel business is very promising and will only grow. The distribution channels in retail are still archaic and payment processors across Africa needs to be unified but in general the market is still at infancy and the opportunity is massive.

What opportunities do you see for growth and expansion in the Nigerian sports merchandising market?

The opportunity for growth is in local manufacturing of shoes and fabrics. Limiting our exposures to foreign currency gives us an edge to compete with the foreign brands, also a growing sports industry gives us an equitable
chance to compete at a high level.

The AFA Sports brand is known for its quality, creativity and brand affiliations, how were you able to differentiate your products from competitors in Nigeria and around the African continent?

We focused on recreating existing indigenous attire into sports leisure apparels that are easily relatable and creating concepts that are entirely unique to our environment, physiology and society. Our concepts and designs are very original in nature. We spend a lot of time in research and design.

How do you navigate regulatory challenges or government policies that may affect the sports merchandising industry in Nigeria?

We have to be on alert especially these days with the general fluctuations of policies and the current economic climate. We have to try and predict and understand the environment especially with import and export policies.

What strategies do you employ to stay ahead of consumer preferences and market trends?

We employ internal and external metrics and also consult with top global industry leaders that predict trends in the industry.

Can you discuss any innovative marketing or branding campaigns you’ve executed, and what were the results?

We created the “stay fit campaign” during the pandemic. We encouraged people to workout from home and send videos.

They ordered boxes of products with the stay fit emblem. It gave us a lot of boost in the industry. We also lunched the “this is ours” campaign that was translated into different African languages and hastags.

Looking ahead, what do you envision for the future of sports businesses and sports-preneurs in Nigeria, and how is your company preparing for it?

We see explosive growth in the space. We want to be the leaders in the industry in Africa. We are expanding our supply chain and distribution hubs and increasing our visibility across Africa. We are also looking at production in some other African cities and exponentially increasing our digital presence and marketing.



Full Stack Developer, Backend And Frontend. And Also Bagged a HND in Computer Science at Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic Bauchi.

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