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Crowd-funding in Sports

What better way is there than to begin a new journey writing on crowdfunding? A generally new concept and it is proving quite helpful, in many other fields such as business, science, technology and social causes people usually feel they are quite passionate about. It has being done on sites like GoFundMe and other websites that are there for such purposes of raising the funds.

It’s no different from sports. It’s not entirely new to sports. Sport clubs that are generally much smaller and may not have a huge amount of capital may need to get some projects done. This may include, acquiring of good transport buses, building of a modern training ground or for whatever other notable project the club may be going for. Take the case of Norwich City FC, a club based in the UK, who launched a £3.5 million bond to fund a new high performance academy.

From  this case study, a number of notable things can be derived from it for use here at home.  The bond will be able to pay 5% gross interest annually with an additional 3% gross in club credit. Investors will also earn a one-off 25% bonus if the club is promoted during the lifetime of the bond, which lasts five years and a £5 million threshold with a minimum subscription of £500 with no upper limit.

Quite some figures there. To be factual with you, I do see this as quite a worthy thing that if we in Kenya would adopt, or in Africa, then this can be  something to look up to. And am not saying we go for the big figures like this one in Norwich City’s case, but right from projects. If clubs are to include fans and make them feel as if they have a bigger place in the clubs affairs, then its time to involve them past the game time. That ticket won’t settle out everything.

I have a very simple suggestion. How about, official support groups of clubs with their elected officials actually reach out or the club itself reaches out to them (support group)  and has talks with them about the project that they have in mind and how much that they may need to raise, as well as the benfits that may come for them as fans being involved in helping out of such projects . The elected officials would then get back to the fans and communicate the need at hand and how to best reach the target. They may then set up a place online and have funds driven in straight to the clubs account.

This would quite help out the club especially where, sponsorship may be a struggle to them to help out in coming up with huge and demanding projects and they may not have such amounts themselves. What’s more, a chance for the fans to be involved in being part and parcel in not only being fans, but also, in being directly involved in matters of the club that are development-oriented. That means that they have a right to know if the funds they have sent are being used appropriately and how far are projects going so far. Greater transparency and accountability for clubs.

This concept, is already being used and I think it is the ripe time for Kenyan and African sport clubs to embrace it for use.

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