The world’s premier football business fair will land in the largest African city this month with a promise of helping to widen the prospects of the game in the West African region
The need for a meeting point for football business was what drove Duncan Revie into establishing Soccerex in 1995. Since that time, the organisation has become the premier meeting point for everyone interested in fostering a veritable football project.
The inspiration to create Soccerex came from a music industry business event attended by Revie and his wife Rita. Realising the gap in the market in terms of the football industry, the son of the late, England and Leeds United manager, Don Revie, combined his contacts and passion for football with the experience in hospitality that he and his wife shared, and in 1996 the very first Soccerex Convention became a reality.
Two years later Uefa President Michel Platini officially opened the event in Paris, and the brand that is Soccerex goes on to gain global recognition, fortifying its place within the international football landscape. Then in 2007 the company's love affair with Africa begins as they sign a deal with the Gauteng Provincial Government to host an event in Johannesburg in the 4 years leading up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa.
|Duncan Revie is CEO and founder of Soccerex
Now, with 17 years spent hosting 27 events on five different continents, the time is right for West Africa to receive the attention it deserves from the global powerhouse in football business.
This year Nigeria will enjoy the opportunity of hosting the highly anticipated Soccerex seminar. Lagos will be the centre of attention for the football world on September 27-28, with the city deservedly set to develop as a hub of football business.
It is true that the city does not have a club representing it in the Nigeria Premier League. However, what better recommendation could the city have hoped for than from former Arsenal vice-chairman, David Dein.
“Nigeria is like my second home - I have been travelling there for over 30 years,” Dein said. “The passion and ability that West Africa has for the beautiful game is immense and the economy is now growing rapidly, resulting in increased opportunities around football.
"In that sense, it is perfect timing that Soccerex has decided to come to Lagos – and I am really looking forward to being part of it."
West African football provides quality in abundance, and Lagos is the ideal host city for the event considering increased investment in the sport, as there is no better time to bring the football community together to show them the true potential of the region.
Being the biggest market in West Africa, Nigeria and Nigerians have an enormous interest in football. Every Saturday, men and women sit in front of television sets in homes, bars, restaurants and viewing centres in order to monitor the activities of their favourite local and European club sides.
|The passion and ability that West Africa has for the beautiful game is immense and the economy is now growing rapidly, resulting in increased opportunities around football
English clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool as well as Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona have an array of supporters and fans in Nigeria.
|David Dein believes in Lagos
The passion with which Nigerians follow these clubs is matched only by their love for the Super Eagles, the country’s national team.
Stadiums are packed to the rafters whenever and wherever the pride of the nation plays, and it is the dream of many young Nigerians to one day represent their country and wear the green jersey that has such great significance.
Around street corners, on dusty pitches, in schools and under the bridges of Lagos, young men turn out every day to play football in the hope that they too can follow in the footsteps of their favourite stars, imagining the journey from a local field to the pristine pitches that host Uefa Champions League encounters.
These are the same matches they following through television and online media thanks to the increased investment in African football, made possible by companies that Soccerex has gathered together under one roof.Soccerex in Lagos can act as a catalyst for positive change and opportunity. With the raw passion for football inherent in African society, there is a need to urgently harness the economic opportunities that the beautiful game holds for the country and continent.
Businesses must continue to contribute in the race to develop the game in Africa, while efforts geared towards social responsibility bring the benefits of Revie's brainchild full circle.
Nigeria and other African countries can no longer allow governments to run and fund football exclusively. Private enterprise is now playing a part in shaping the beautiful game, and Soccerex provides the platform for football as a lucrative industry to yield enormous returns for society.
The Soccerex Seminar Lagos will bring together all the key industry people to share ideas, swap contacts and network in order to take the African game to the next level.
The link between Lagos and Soccerex allows for opportunity and ability to meet in an alliance which is set to benefit the entire African continent and the game that is loved by its people.
|SOCCEREX SEMINAR LAGOS
Register to be a part of the event in Lagos