What If The RWC Came To Kenya?
A wise Swahili man once said, ‘Mwenzako akinyolewa, zako tia maji..’
If you have been around the internet and its intrigues over the past few days, you would have noticed that the holy grail of that other sport was in the country. As it is with anything in Kenya, it came with its side shows, apart from the water salute, one of these ‘side shows’ caught my eye.
The ‘true’ fans of the sport felt that the brand that brought the cup to the country, used outsiders to market their sport’s holy grail. While other countries used the sport’s stars to do the same. They have been going on and on about it, I think they are still at it. Which got me asking, what if they brought the Rugby World Cup to Kenya, would we ‘suffer’ the same fate?
First to get a few things off the table, these brands come to a sport/event because of the people. Think of it as a trade, the sport offers them people and in return they activate. So in the first place they are looking for people/sports that attract people. That is probably why the Kenya Cup has struggled to attract any sponsors.
So first thing we should ask ourselves, do we have people who command a following, in short do we have stars? Yes we do have a handful of stars, thanks to our sevens side, but we can do more, much more. So on that plane we would probably be your Humphrey Kayanges, Collins Injeras, Biko Ademas, Oscar Oumas etc.
While our brothers and sisters from the ‘beautiful’sport may enjoy large followings, they clearly lack these stars. Apart from the Marigas and Oliechs you will struggle to name another five house hold names, unless you follow the sport.
You might think that we are better off, but they once took Larry Madowo to watch a World Cup game, remember?
So what should we do to make sure we have more ‘fitting’ people on that plane if and when these brands decide to come knocking?
First as a player, your performance on the pitch, secondly it seems like you have to be on the sevens team, well not really. In this age of social media, creating your own platform and following is easier than it has ever been. This also applies for fans too, hii ndege lazima tupande.
Here is my challenge to both players and fans, the clubs and union too. Your social media platforms are the most powerful tools you have, create your brands from them. Look for new and exciting ways to engage your followers, this is how we start to ‘tia our nywele maji.’
Secondly, let us start bringing in new fans to the sport, build our numbers, fill our stadiums. Slowly you will see brands and companies wanting to engage with us more and we will have the right people on our ‘plane.’ More importantly, we will grow our sport to great new heights.
I once delved into how we can leverage on social media to build this sport here, hakuna haja ya kujirudia, ama? Yote tisa, kumi…