Tega Onojaite graciously hosted the Ladies In Sport Conference. The first of its kind in Nigeria and we at ‘AthleticHeat’ were particularly proud of the efforts to reach out to young female athletes in Nigeria with about 15 athletes in attendance, media houses, coaches and sport administrators.
Mrs Bukky Kabiri-Whyte and Host Tega Onojaite
Ladies in Sports ( LIS ) conference is a platform for women in Sports to be celebrated, motivated and equipped to be the best they can be.
It is an avenue for sports women and administrators of females in Sports to develop and improve talent and the industry through education, training and a structured reward system. To this end, the LIS 2016 conference was targeted towards athletes from all sports and the Sports media for training in sports medicine, antidoping , PR and Branding and physiotherapy.
The LIS 2016 conference will also include grants for 4 young female athletes in table tennis and track events.This project is targeted at developing local athletes and Federations that help promote growth of home grown athletes.
The first speaker after the welcome address from Vice President of Asian Football Confederation, Moya Dodd was Mrs Bukky Kabiri-Whyte of Bobby Taylor Company. She spoke extensively on Public Relations, the use of social media, athletes sponsorship/ endorsement.
The gorgeous Mrs Bukky Kabiri-Whyte
In her words; Before you become a good PR in sports, there are some things you have to learn.
- . You need to be able to write like a sports writer.
- . You have to learn the linqua about the sport.
- . Before you reach out to people on a particular issue, you need to know how to write a press release.
And this kind of people are really not found in Nigeria and we need more PR people in sports That’s why you would notice that most people aren’t aware of our successes in this part of the world because we do not have people to communicate to the world about us.
A presenter from SuperSports supported this ‘Nigerian athletes undo themselves. I was the PR of the Super Falcons and I followed them to every training and competition and when I ask them for interviews, they say NO! which isn’t good.’
In Bukky’s response to Chioma Ajunwa question on how her company helps to project that we have great talents in Nigeria and if she has any athlete or coach she manages.
‘Been fantastic is not all, you need a lot of people behind the scene. For now, we do not have any athlete or coach because we basically work with brands but no athlete, coach or manager has approached us yet.
On Social Media, she made it clear that many Nigeria athletes do not have social media power and this is where they lose out on sponsorship. When you own a website or blog as an athlete, you sell yourself out to the world. It’s important you should be consistent with social media because it is the quickest, fastest and cheapest way to sell yourself.
Her advice to sprinters is to open a Facebook and Instagram page because a fifteen seconds video on Instagram is enough to tell about yourself. It could be on training or after a competition and as an athlete you have to be selective with the words that you use.
Here’s what she had to say on Endorsements.
‘Companies would want to know why you should be endorsed or sponsored. How many people are watching you? How many people follow and like your page? Do you guarantee people would go to stores to buy our product because of you? And everything still boils down to social media.’
Another question from Chioma Ajunwa,
‘For athletes who want to get a PR Agency like yours. How does that athlete do that? Instead of waiting for a top athlete, why can’t you talk about sponsoring young athletes. No Nigerian athlete have ever been sponsored by a big company in Nigeria. If a company in Nigeria can invite Serena Williams and pay her 500,000USD why cant they put 20,000 USD into young athlete?’
In response, Bukky said ‘Its not about sentiment. It’s a BUSINESS. If Tiwa Savage has 5 million followers on Instagram, and you have an Olympics gold medal with just two followers on Instagram; nobody would want you because it is all about the business of sport and not emotional sentiments.’
At the end of the speech, she said for athlete, coaches or managers who want to contact me should send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tune in later today as we review the speech by two of Nigeria’s most celebrated athletes Chioma Ajunwa and Glory Alozie.
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