I hardly blog about non-tech related issues, however yesterday I stumbled on a rather hard biting reality. As with any situation there are probably two sides to the coin. It just so happened that I ran into a group of young soccer fans in Ileret. This is probably one of the most remote places in modern day Kenya. The closest Ileretians know of the government is a police post standing on its knees, the Kenyan flag does nonetheless fly majestically over the piercing winds that blow across the sublime Lake Turkana.
As captured in the video above, these young boys are well versed with the international football, particularly the European game complete with grey market merchandise. What was strikingly appalling was the ignorance of the local game and particularly the national team. On the other hand Barcelona, AC Milan, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United all have fans here and are well recognised. Such is the brand value of European football much to the demise of the local game.
Moral of the story? In product and service management user requirements need to be continuously assessed and channelled through a feedback loop to reposition the features to a changing environment. It seems that the European clubs and FA’s clearly see that and certainly there is no such thing as bad publicity as bootleg merchandise still add to the brand value and appeal. Well there is at least some light at the end of the tunnel, some day one of the boys, a young ambitious lad by the name of Robacho hopes to play for a Nairobi based team and Harambee Stars (the Kenya national team) as opposed to playing in Europe. After all there still is a market for the local game.
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