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Akin Alabi’s Lekki FC could make a splash in the Nigerian league system

If backed with a heavy war chest as it may be, Akin Alabi could build a brand-new sports complex for Lekki FC.

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A logo for the Lekki FC proposed by designer, Osuolale Farouq

Over the weekend, business tycoon, Akin Alabi talked about always wanting to own a football club.

While he had wanted to buy all or part of his local boyhood club, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan, he had instead opted for establishing a new club after he failed to make any headway.

The proposed name for Akin Alabi’s new club is Lekki Football Club (Lekki FC). It will be located in the heart of the Lagos town whose name it has adopted. It is however not clear where Lekki FC would be playing its home games.

While there are a number of stadia in Lagos, all of them are considerably far from Lekki. But then, we saw Ikorodu United come all the way to Onikan to play their home games so that distance shouldn’t be a barrier for Lekki FC.

Moreover, if backed with a heavy war chest as it may be, Akin Alabi could build a brand-new sports complex for Lekki FC. That would be a thrill.

Also, read NTA acquires free-to-air Premier League licence in Nigeria

Marketability has always been the biggest problem facing Nigerian league football and the clubs playing in it. So Lekki FC would need to be very different and very aggressive so that its marketing machinery would make an instant impact.

First off, for visibility, it's home stadium should have a giant LED billboard that could be seen miles away. Then it should Leverage on tech and entrench its name and logo into top apps in Nigeria, starting of course with NairaBet.

The club jerseys, tracksuits and other paraphernalia should be very public. Like they should flood the market with replicas that, for now, would be very affordable.

There could also be a kind of club Blogazine which, in my opinion, shouldn’t be limited to just club news as that would help it gain wider appeal while making sure it doesn’t run out of content.

Then for God’s sake, let’s be able to watch the club play on TV. If Lekki FC could get its marketability right, it would be a shining blueprint for other clubs to follow.

The road to the top tier of Nigerian football, the NPFL could be pretty long especially since Akin Alabi’s Lekki FC would likely be starting in the Nationwide League which is the lowest tier of the Nigerian league system.

But it isn’t anything the right sporting and business mentality along with strong financial backing couldn’t achieve in a few short years.

From requirements for licensing the club like incorporation, affidavit of allegiance to the LMC, NFF, CAF and FIFA, stadium certification and financial performance etc, to creating a solid fan base and powerful marketing machinery, Lekki FC could become the biggest thing to hit Nigerian football in a while.

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