Learn from Kenya Open to grow sports

Thursday, March 16th, 2023 09:20 | By
Kenya Open golf tournament. Photo/Getty image

This weekend promises a lot of sports action, with the highlight expected to be the Equator Rally in Voi. Being one of a kind, the rally offers Kenyans an opportunity to explore their country and discover new locations, since it is coming as a break from its traditional home in Naivasha.

Indeed, all parts of the country should, from time to time, get the opportunity to host such events so as to spread their magic to a wider cross section of fans and also boost local tourism.

This, in addition to the football, hockey and rugby leagues ought to be harnessed to be revenue drivers for clubs as well as opportunities to boost local travel, which will have the added advantage of boosting hospitality establishments.

In the past, such events have not been well or effectively marketed, and, as a result, they have not attracted as many enthusiasts as they should. This is a trend that needs to be remedied.

In this regard, there is a great deal that the relevant sports federations can learn from golf, which recently brought a large number of players and enthusiasts to Nairobi for the Kenya Open tournament. Besides working with the media to promote the event, organisers also sought corporate partners who offered prizes and other forms of support that made the event a great success.

What other federations should learn is that such success is not accidental. It is the result of adequate preparation and partnerships. Indeed, the golf tournament, in which the winner took home Sh44 million, was living proof of the five-Ps aphorism that proper preparation prevents poor performance.

Now that the national football team, Harambee Stars, is preparing to travel to Iraq to play a friendly match with the team that featured in the last Fifa World Cup finals, it is important for the management of the team to learn from the golfing fraternity, first to encourage sponsorship of the team, second, to partner with the media so that they can televise the game and third, offer incentives for fans to watch the game, either in action or on TV.

Success, at the end of the day, is a product of investment, not just of money, but also of talent and ideas. The question that the various federations should be asking themselves is; are they making the necessary investments consistently?

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