When the history of sports marketing in Nigeria is being told, one name that would always pop up and occupy a place of pride is Taye Ige, founder and chairman of HotSports Media group. Ige through HotSports in about two decades of operation in the sports arena has not only charted a new course in sports presentation, production, content provision and marketing but has also added value to the sector. A trained journalist turned marketing professional and entrepreneur, Ige started off presenting brilliantly with eloquence, the sports segment of the popular talkshow, Morning Ride in 1996. It was this little beginning that has metamorphosed into a giant oak known as HS Media conglomerate today. In a recent encounter with Brandwise, Ige begins the story of his early days on TV thus: “ I started off presenting the sports segment of Morning Ride on NTA in 1996. I think that was when the seed of sports marketing was sown in me. This field of sports marketing is new. It is not like engineering, journal- ism or law. But then it has always been there. At the USA ’94 World Cup, a company called DBN Sports marketed the tournament to Nigerians on behalf of NTA. The guy was later to set up a full-fledged television station after this.
When one starts to make a living out of what people don’t know much about, then the initial problem of acceptability creeps in. But we thank God. We are here and people know about us. Unknown to most of us in this part of the world, in sports there are thirty-six different professional areas one can tap into, but we are not doing more than eight. Being an athlete is one, a manager, a media owner, a sports marketer and so on. But you and I know that in other parts of the world it’s a different ball game. Imagine you taking sports out of the English people. It’s impossible. They love sports. They live sports and they create time for sports. Unlike here, where the challenges of day to day living hardly give people enough time for sports and recreation.”
When asked on what has been the secret of HS Media success and staying power over the years, Ige in his usual humility and candour attributed it to perseverance and the God factor. “Indeed, sports marketing in Nigeria is not just evolving, it has evolved and we are happy that we are one of the pioneers that are still in the business. A lot of people that crashed into it have crashed out. Perhaps they had a wrong notion of the area. In other areas, there are foot steps to follow but not in this area. Over the years we’ve had to chart our own cause and we have been helped by God,” Ige says.
Sharing his experience on the business further and why brand owners especially Fast Moving Consumer Goods producers in the country are not leveraging sports to sell their products,
As a veteran in the business when
Apart from sports media marketing, one area in which HS Media group has expertise is in area of media content provision and production. Only recently, the firm unveiled a new TV game show. The programme which was unveiled in July at the HS Media Group office in Oregun, Lagos and has since been running on TV is titled, UAC Unscripted
UAC Unscripted which airs on NTA family belt from 8.30 – 9.00pm on Mondays features two celebrity families in fun-filled games that educate, entertain and stimulate family bond for the viewing audience. According to
Ige states that from the TV programme production and presentation he started within 1996, HS Group has evolved into a conglomerate with competence in events, media, marketing, public relations and advertising. For Ige and the HS Group, the future looks quite bright and it is indeed morning yet in their arsenal of marketing creativity.
Taye Ige is the Founder and Chairman of HotSports Media Group