FIFA Women’s World Cup: How The Media, Brands Can Tap From This Goldmine – Debbie Larry- Izamoje
When it comes to sports development for women, the level of passion exhibited by Debbie Larry-Izamoje, Chief Operating Officer Of Brila Media is beyond the skies. Just as Nigerian fans are eagerly waiting for the world soccer tournament for women that comes up in the next few days, Debbie is confident that the Nigerian girls, the Falcons will not disappoint. In this chat with Brand Communicator, our Harvard-certified passionate sports advocate, who successfully oversaw the rebranding of Nigeria’s first sports radio station, 88.9 Brila FM with inroads into the key cities of Lagos, Abuja, Onitsha, and Port Harcourt, speaks on expectations from the world cup. She also highlights what brands can do to grow women’s sports and the plans Brila Media has as an organisation for the future. This is fast-rising Debbie at her best. Read on.
My Views and Expectations of The Super Falcons
Our Super Falcons have truly showcased the immense talent and skill of Nigerian women on a global stage, and as a sports business executive and Nigerian citizen, I couldn’t be prouder. The Super Falcons have an impressive record, having achieved remarkable feats such as reaching the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup in 1999 and elevating Africa’s position in women’s football. Through hard work and unwavering dedication, the Super Falcons have earned a higher ranking in FIFA’s 2023 rankings. It’s remarkable that they have won 11 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations titles (WAFCON), with the most recent victory coming in 2018. Their continued success is exemplified by their participation in every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, a feat that very few teams in the world can claim. The Super Falcons are an unstoppable force, and I couldn’t be more excited to see what they accomplish with this being our 9th world cup.
Why I am passionate about promoting women’s sports in Nigeria, especially football and athletics
As a proud Nigerian woman, I have a strong connection to the stories of our female footballers. These incredible women are true champions of our nation, and I see my support for them as a way of contributing to our country’s success. I vividly recall the awe I felt when I first saw the Super Falcons play. Witnessing their impressive skills made me believe that anything is possible. In fact, I was so inspired that I advocated for my school to create a girls’ football team. I have been fortunate enough to receive guidance from Mrs. Aisha Falode, a remarkable mentor who champions women’s football in Nigeria. These athletes are exceptional role models, balancing family and national aspirations with their incredible abilities. I am proud to say that they are even nominated for international awards alongside some of the greatest European footballers.
How to Grow Women’s Football and Generate more interest Among Nigerians
It’s evident that women’s football has gained significant attention in recent times, which is a step in the right direction. However, we cannot rest on our laurels yet when it comes to promoting and advocating for women’s football. Even though we’ve made progress, there’s still plenty of groundwork that needs to be done. It’s heartening to see that women’s football is receiving more publicity and garnering more followership. We should honour and acknowledge the contributions of trailblazers like Mrs. Aisha Falode, who played a crucial role in organising and structuring the league. Although she’s no longer involved, her legacy persists today. As we wait for these positive developments to translate into progress for women’s football across the continent, we must continue to support and advocate for this sport.
Roles Played by Brila FM in the Advancement of Women’s Football over the Years
As a media house, our biggest way to show support for any cause is to use our platform and use it consistently. Brila Media remains Nigeria’s leading sports media hub and our platforms (Radio and Digital) have garnered as much as 200M Impressions on coverage for some competitions. This means that when we choose to show support to an individual, organisation, or cause it is in no way small. Apart from treating women’s football with the same leverage and talent we use in men’s football, we also ensure that we partner with the private projects of our women footballers. A Lot of them over the years have become close friends of the house.
Our partnership with the Nigerian Football Federation is thriving! We have been working tirelessly with schools and organisations to foster a strong sports culture among young girls. Furthermore, we have established robust partnerships with centres and rights holders that will enable us to increase game views significantly. We are constantly seeking out new collaborators to join forces with us in driving visibility and interest in women’s football in Nigeria.
Plans for the upcoming Women’s world cup
Brila Media is putting in an impressive amount of effort to generate buzz around our presence at the World Cup. Our ongoing campaigns are being expertly promoted across multiple social media platforms, with our female sports presenters playing a vital role in driving this success.
Brila Media has both digital and radio platforms across four cities(Lagos, Abuja, Onitsha, Port Harcourt) to reach diverse target markets. Our radio coverage of the games will be engaging and conversational, and we are making sure it’s as indigenous as possible. For instance, the coverage for the Onitsha audience will differ from the Abuja audience, so each coverage is localized. Meanwhile, our digital platforms will educate and engage younger audiences. It’s clear that the team is extremely excited about our coverage of the World Cup, and with good reason. This promises to be our most successful coverage yet!
Why brands must get involved in Women’s sports like The World Cup
I believe it’s important to mention that the organisers of this year’s women’s soccer World Cup in Australia and New Zealand are aiming to draw in a record viewership of up to two billion for the tournament, which is truly ground-breaking. Brands who take advantage of the emotions surrounding this World Cup are really tapping into a goldmine. There are so many ways brands can get involved; from sponsoring coverage of the games to signing the women as ambassadors locally. Increased brand involvement can also help to raise the profile of women’s football in Nigeria and attract more fans and supporters to the sport. By positioning your brand as one that cares about the advancement of women and as a major contributor to conversations surrounding our amazing footballers, you can make a difference. Brands can also select key women in sports business to consult with at this time. With little to no sports activity now, your brand will surely stand out from the noise. This is the perfect time for decision-makers to begin to align their brands with women and be on the right side of history.
Why Brila is Sustaining its advocacy in sports development for women despite the challenges
Our goal is to ensure wider acceptance and profitability for everyone involved. We have amazing players like Asisat Oshoala, Rasheedat Ajibade, Onome Ebi who have given so much back to the Nigerian society, and it’s hard to understand why more people aren’t jumping at the chance to support a team that is solely focused on putting Nigeria on the global map for positive reasons. This is why we are so passionate about working closely with and sharing the stories of our Falcons, and I hope to see other media organisations and decision-makers step up to the plate as well. The impact that supporting our Super Falcons can have on young girls is immeasurable and we are committed to showing girls and women that there is enough room for them to thrive in sports.
Specific roles brands can play to support the super falcons during this World Cup
Supporting the Super Falcons is not only about promoting women’s football in Nigeria, but it is also about empowering young girls to pursue their dreams fearlessly. Brands that endorse the team are sending an unequivocal message to every young girl that her aspirations are valid and attainable. It is crucial to raise awareness about these tournaments and encourage more people to watch and support the team, and multinationals can play a substantial role in this. By sponsoring the coverage of these games, brands can ensure that the team has the resources they require to compete at the highest level. Furthermore, it is essential to have individuals taking on roles from the grassroots level and following up on infrastructure that will benefit us all in the long run. Investing in this sector will hold administrators accountable, and this will ultimately benefit everyone. Let us come together and support the Super Falcons in any way we can, knowing that our contributions will make a significant impact.
Roles other media organisations can play
In my humble opinion, media organisations should take on advocacy roles and actively engage with other sectors to promote collaboration rather than wait for opportunities to arise. At Brila Media, we prioritise identifying talent at the grassroots level and highlighting their stories before they become widely known. I firmly believe that other media houses should adopt a similar approach and that more brands should place their trust in our credibility, as we have been a leader in the sports media industry for two decades. When we speak, brands can rest assured that we provide valuable insights into the sports landscape in Nigeria. Accreditation from media outlets during major tournaments, such as the World Cup, can serve as a significant morale boost for players. This recognition indicates that there are individuals who are passionate about sharing athletes’ stories and providing support.
My expectations of the average Nigerian as the Super Falcons participate in the World Cup
As media outlets continue to highlight the incredible achievements of our talented female athletes, it’s our responsibility as fans to actively engage with the content being shared and go as far as attending these games. It’s worth noting that these athletes and their technical staff keep track of our activities on Brila. They consider it a way to connect with us and feel our love and support. Furthermore, let’s remember to be kind and understanding towards footballers, especially when they make mistakes during games. We can demonstrate our support by promoting them naturally on social media, purchasing their jerseys, and proudly wearing their official numbers. Most importantly, let’s take the time to learn the names of these amazing players, including those who work diligently behind the scenes to ensure that Nigeria remains a prominent force on the global stage. Let us shower them all with love and support!
Personal expectations on Super Falcons’ performance during the world cup
We are eagerly looking forward to the Super Falcons games in Australia and New Zealand. I have always been impressed with their performance, and I am confident that they will bring a fresh style of play to the field this time. As the official radio partner of the Nigerian Football Federation, our media house is excited to expand our reach and connect with new audiences through our coverage of the game. We are not just a radio station and have already initiated talks with several brands who are keen on utilising digital engagement during the Super Falcons matches. With our team on the ground, we are anticipating an exhilarating month ahead! I urge everyone to stay up-to-date with all the actions by following Brila Media on Radio (Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Onitsha) and Digital (.net, App, and social media channels).
What to expect from Brila Media in its support for women’s football Beyond this world cup
Our current focus is on supporting the Super Falcons and promoting their success, but we have grand plans for the future beyond the tournament. Our goal is to work with more schools and universities to foster a football culture among young girls. Additionally, we aim to plan tours with some of these players to inspire people with their remarkable stories. We have several campaigns in the pipeline, and we are thrilled about our upcoming projects. We are confident that brands will be eager to collaborate with us when the time comes. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to participate, sponsor, and explore our storytelling approach to the Super Falcons’ performance in Australia and New Zealand.