Africa sportsbiz

AFCON 2023: A Data-Driven Masterclass Unveiling Africa’s Booming Football Market for Sports Business Executives

March 20, 2024

In this week’s View From Africa piece Cynthia Mumbo, CEO of SportsConnect Africa pens takeaway from AFCON 2023.

The echoes of a captivating Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 in Cote d’Ivoire are still resonating, leaving behind not just memories of thrilling matches, but a treasure trove of data that speaks volumes to sports business executives around the globe. This data unveils a dynamic and rapidly growing African football market, brimming with potential for savvy investors and brands.

Let’s delve into the heart of the matter – the impressive statistics released by CAF:

  • Digital Domination Redefined: Get ready to be amazed. AFCON 2023 witnessed a colossal 2.2 billion video views across all digital platforms, a monumental leap from the 350 million views recorded in 2021. This translates to a staggering 657% increase, showcasing the immense growth of the African digital audience.
  • Social Media Mania: The influence of social media cannot be overstated. AFCON 2023 generated a remarkable 2.1 billion impressions across all platforms, highlighting the power of social media engagement. This presents a golden opportunity for brands to build awareness and connect with a passionate fanbase.

A Windfall for Sponsors:

  • Commercial Boom: The message is undeniable – sponsors are taking notice. AFCON 2023 secured a remarkable 26% increase in commercial revenue compared to 2021. This significant growth signifies a maturing market ripe for brand investment. For sports business executives, this translates to lucrative sponsorship opportunities within a highly engaged fanbase of over 1.2 million match attendees.
  • Ticketing Triumph: The excitement wasn’t limited to the digital sphere. AFCON 2023 witnessed a staggering 800% increase in ticketing revenue, a testament to the unwavering passion of African football fans. This presents a unique opportunity for rights holders to explore innovative ticketing models and maximize revenue streams.
  • Sponsor Surge: The number of sponsors has witnessed a healthy 65% rise, jumping from 10 in 2021 to an impressive 17 in 2023. This influx of brands further validates the growing commercial appeal of AFCON.

Reaching New Heights with TV:

  • Broadcast Bonanza: While audience figures aren’t available, a significant 33% year-on-year rise in TV revenue paints a promising picture. This viewership growth is further amplified by a staggering 65% increase in the number of territories broadcasting the games. New heavyweights like BBC, CANAL+, and Sky Sports joining the roster signify a global expansion of the AFCON fanbase. This presents a unique opportunity to tap into new markets and maximize viewership.
  • Partnerships Proliferate: The number of TV partners has skyrocketed by 65%, growing from 68 to an impressive 110. This signifies a growing interest from broadcasters around the world, eager to capitalize on the rising popularity of African football. With 41 free-to-air broadcasters reaching 171 territories (a 15% increase from 2021), AFCON is ensuring accessibility for fans across the continent and beyond.

Digital Revolution Takes Center Stage:

  • OTT Streaming Soars: The data confirms a phenomenal 90% increase in content streamed on Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms compared to AFCON 2021. This trend aligns perfectly with global viewing habits, where fans crave flexible and personalized experiences. Sports business executives would be wise to consider strategic partnerships with OTT platforms to reach this growing audience segment.
  • Website Traffic on the Rise: CAF’s online presence mirrored the overall success. Website traffic surged to a whopping 8 million page views, with a remarkable 2.6 million new users joining the CAF store. This digital upswing presents a lucrative opportunity for brands to leverage CAF’s online platforms for targeted marketing campaigns.

A Gateway to a Lucrative Market

AFCON 2023 has been a resounding success story, both on and off the pitch. The data presented is a compelling argument for sports business executives. Africa boasts a passionate and rapidly growing football market, fueled by a young and tech-savvy demographic. With strategic investments in digital platforms, OTT streaming, and innovative social media engagement, AFCON can become a global phenomenon.

This is an opportune moment for sports business executives to seize the initiative. By understanding the evolving African football landscape and its fans’ preferences, brands can establish themselves as key players within this dynamic market. The future of African football is undeniably bright, and AFCON is its sparkling crown jewel. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be

Africa sportsbiz