Sports in Africa are booming, presenting new opportunities
Football is growing in Africa. The IFAF (International Federation of American Football) is the governing boxy of football in Africa.
Members include Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda.
The Nigerian Institute of American Football was founded in June 2011. The organization holds “clinics” to instruct coaches in the way of the game. The NIAF also works with young players who are eager to learn the game. There are approximately 57 Nigerian players in the NFL. Nigeria has exported more football players than any other African country. Seven Nigerians made the NFL draft in 2021. The Lagos Marines are the most popular football team in the country.
Most of the top ten sports streaming sites in Nigeria broadcast American Football. The top two are FirstRowSports and ATDHE.SX. Many Nigerians enjoy watching foreign teams in multiple sports. There is increasing demand for sports and entertainment.
The major obstacle to Football in Nigeria is player retention, as well as the high financial cost of the game. The organization mostly relies on funding from overseas and the US Consulate.
Nigeria has approximately 170 million mobile phone users, of which 17 million to 34 million smartphone users. Mobile internet users amounted to over 86 million in 2021. Over 30 percent of the population in Nigeria subscribes to mobile broadband. Nigeria wants to reach 90% 4G/5G coverage by 2025. These are optimum speeds for streaming sports. Large cities like Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, and Port Harcourt have 3G and 4G.
South Africa is a viable candidate for NFL expansion. “Gridiron South Africa” was founded in 2015 to grow the sport of American Football. There are currently 5 regions that have classes and teams. Several high-profile athletes have volunteered to generate interest in the sport. The most significant issue, as in Nigeria, is maintaining players, as well as the high financial cost of the game. The organization mostly relies on funding from overseas and the US Consulate.
South Africa has several apps for streaming live and recorded sports. This includes DStv, MTTV, WSS 2.4, along with premium services like ShowMax, SkySports, and ESPN. South African mobile subscriber is over 170%. Over 24.5 million citizens use a smartphone. The country supports the best mobile infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa. Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Durban have 3g and 4g+, ideal for streaming sports.
In South Africa and Nigeria, the ubiquity of smartphones and increasing data speeds in major cities has grown the desire for live and recorded sports. Viewers are looking beyond local organizations for international media. European Premier League Soccer, Rugby, Cricket, and American football are the most popular. As both countries export more NFL players, the interest in the sport has grown significantly. Regional clubs, organizations, and the US Consulate grow interested in American football and increase foreign consumption of NFL entertainment. Sports betting platforms have also spread across the region, spurring interest in American Football.