Strategy by Mvita Youngsters to attract fans paying off
The Coastal side Mvita Youngsters has deployed a scheme of using influential personalities in Mombasa county to push their fans of showing up in large numbers and rally behind their team take on opponents in the local league.
According to the patron of the team and former Mombasa county Transport and Infrastructure Executive Member Taufiq Balala, they have been using popular people ranging from politicians, local musicians, former footballers to push for overwhelming turnout by supporters, a move that has resulted into fruits.
"Very few people will see the point of what we have achieved today .It does not matter who won or who lost what matters is we managed to achieve what nobody could achieve for many many years .We filled the place to capacity and now that’s a win for all" he wrote on Twitter on Sunday after their match against Wanyanyuki which attracted approximately 10,000 fans.
Stone throw away at the Mbaraki stadium, the dockers of Bandari were facing Nairobi City Stars in a Kenya Premier League fixture and the game had a few number of home fans attending it.
Balala,a key football stakeholder at the Coast has been advocating for the community involvement in owning the football clubs in the country in a bid to attract massive following which translates into potential sponsorships from corporates over value for their money.
"My appeal to the state corporations is they should stay away from sponsorships of football activities in the country because their association with club soccer in Kenya is disconnecting society touch hence making it less attractive for fans to support the involved teams.A week ago the game between Ulinzi Stars against Bandari had countable people yet both sides enjoy sufficient funding from government parastatals.The same can't be said of Mashemeji derby on Sunday at Nyayo national stadium which had a mouth-watering supporters attending the match" he noted.
A league match involving the institutional sides cannot attract more than 100 fans today, yet the sponsoring companies continue to pump in millions of shillings to keep them afloat.
Most football lovers are cognizant of the fact that the history and success of Kenyan football can only be found in the community clubs despite challenges associated with mis-management, lack of enough resources to bankroll operations of the teams among others.
Gor Mahia, for instance, who have no financial backing from any institution, boasts being the record Kenya Premier League champions having lifted the top tier title in 18 times besides their continental triumph of being the only club in East Africa to have won the Africa Cup Winners Cup in 1987.
AFC Leopards and Shabana, two of Kenya’s foremost community-based clubs even at their lowest, still rule the terraces due to their community connection with both Luhya and Gusii nations respectively.
"And as popularity goes, even Shabana will easily consume Tusker when they make their Premiership return. Stima, whether Western or from anywhere else, can never electrify the fans. But Feisal, Mwenge, Hakati and Meru Bombers will. And if Tusker has been drawing paltry crowds since 1973, the case of bankers and soldiers is even more bleak" wrote the renowned columnist and co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Project Rio Limited Roy Gachuhi
The Sunday Mashemeji derby which ended in a stalemate at Nyayo national stadium had slightly over 10,000 fans attending it with 461 of those tickets for the VIP section while 9565 were for the terraces.