The transfer of the century took place when Brazil’s golden boy Neymar Jr. moved to Paris Saint Germain for a world-record fee from Barcelona last week.
After weeks of rumours about the impending move, it finally happened on August 3, 2017, as Barcelona accepted the 222m Euros buy-out clause from the player who then set off for Paris.
The transfer of Neymar is one that has caught global attention and many Africans should become more interested in watching PSG play with the Brazilian in their fold.
One of the most recognisable faces in global sport, Neymar was named the world’s most marketable athlete in 2012 and 2013 by SportsPro.
— PSG English (@PSG_English) August 6, 2017
Personally, I think his marketability will increase with the global visibility that this move has brought him.
His popularity was underlined for me by my 15-year-old niece who told me most of the girls in her class had a crush on the 25-year-old.
This creates an opportunity for marketers to use Neymar to reach a global market of young women as well as boys who idolise him.
Having moved to Ligue 1, it is also an opportunity for the league’s official broadcasters to increase their brand leverage using the Neymar at PSG story.
StarTimes are official Ligue 1 broadcasters for the sub-Saharan African market. What they do with Neymar will influence how many new decoders will be bought by new subscribers.
This week I ran a two-day poll on Twitter asking my followers if they would consider buying a StarTimes decoder in order to watch Neymar and PSG.
The results are interesting.
26 per cent answered Yes, 58 per cent answered No while 16 per cent answered Maybe.
This offers a great opportunity for StarTimes to find new subscribers out of these people that said Yes and Maybe – a combined 42 per cent of the voters.
Neymar and PSG’s Ligue 1 matches are exclusively on StarTimes. Will you be buying a subscription to watch Neymar? Vote & RT please
— Lolade Adewuyi (@Jololade) August 10, 2017
The broadcaster can profit off the back of Neymar to PSG and increase the take up of its Ligue 1 broadcasts if it will be able to see the opportunity before it.
The fact that many mainstream media and digital platforms like Goal.com and ESPNFC will dedicate more coverage space to PSG is an added advantage because it will help increase the visibility of Ligue 1.
StarTimes can tie their marketing communications strategy into this new global shift in order to increase their sales.
However, StarTimes has competition in DSTV. While the South African channel is not an official broadcaster of Ligue 1, one of its stations, TV5 Monde, the French national broadcaster, shows Ligue 1 matches although in French.
StarTimes also has to create more messages around its Ligue 1 rights than it is currently doing. At the moment, the Bundesliga, a league without the kind of global star that Neymar is, is what StarTimes is keenly pushing.
The Ligue 1 offers a potential for growth in viewership beyond what the German league has presently.
Lolade Adewuyi is chief strategist at CampsBay Media, a sports communication company creating solutions for African sports and events. Contact him via lolade.adewuyi [at] campsbaymedia.com.ng. He is on Twitter @Jololade