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Scenes from the SWAL 34th Anniversary Celebration Scenes from the SWAL 34th Anniversary Celebration

Promote Local Sports & Sports Marketing- Veteran Liberian Journalist Challenges Sports Writers

 MONROVIA,LIBERIA - Serving as the keynote speaker at the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) 34th Anniversary celebration on Saturday, September 19, 2020, veteran Liberian Journalist, Frank Sainworla, challenged the Liberian Sports Writers to now seize the opportunity to promote and prioritize local sports and sports marketing.

Speaking on the theme: “The Dawning Of A New Era For Liberian Sporting Press,” Journalist Sainworla further challenged the Liberian Sports Writers:“You must, without delay, be seen greater amount of content on our newspaper pages and on our airwaves devoted to local sporting activities or programs.” According to him, it is now time that other international media outlets lift compelling stories about sporting developments in Liberia from our local media. 

“Let’s tone down the copying and pasting of foreign sports news on the big leagues and players and saturating our sports platforms. I’m not saying, we shouldn’t report about the Premierships, the La Liga and many others. But what I’m saying is that, we must play up our own sporting programs, leagues and players, so that our Liberian public can increasingly take interest in and follow,” the veteran broadcaster added. He said SWAL can help the various local media audiences to wet their appetite for Liberian sports and athletes by the increased level of local content they do daily. 

As it is said, the media is an Agenda Setter. The sporting press can also help in promoting the development of sports in Liberia by pressing local and national sports officials to beef up their marketing strategy, the former sports commentator noted. “Sports marketing is a subdivision of marketing which focuses both on the promotion of sports events and teams as well as the promotion of other products and services through sporting events and sports teams.  

“Sports marketing is a service in which the element promoted can be a physical product or a brand name.” Source”-Wikipedia He encouraged authorities at the Ministry of Youth and Sports , the Liberia Football Association (LFA) the Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC)  and other sports federations to see the media as genuine and indispensable partners in progress. Therefore, they must institutionalize the inclusion of a reasonable amounts in their budgets for communications and media publicity. Mr. Sainworla stressed that such very is important in order to make the various sporting programs and athletes visible AT ALL TIMES.

Providing further justification to support local sporting press, he pointed out that It’s only by doing so that we will see the generation of greater interest in local sports and the eventual rise in attendance at local leagues, not only the once in the year attendance at the National County Sports Meet. Making reference on the international scene, the Mass Communication lecturer indicated that Commitment to marketing of their sporting programs have made the European, American and Asian sports programs/leagues so popular and of course made their bank accounts as fat as they are today something he wants to see happen in Liberia as well.

“Let me leave you with just an example of what sports marketing has done in concert with the media can do: “The National Football Foundation reports that 49,670,895 (nearly 50 million people attended an NCAA football game in 2011, while over 110 million people watched the 2012 Superbowl, according to Nielsen. From fanatics to casual viewers, sports capture the attention of more people than almost any other kind of event.”Source: https://www.marketing-schools.org/types-of-marketing/sports-marketing.htmlIndeed, here in Liberia, we too can do live TV and radio coverage of our local sports games and live on the Social Media networks in collaboration with the sporting press.Let’s think about this seriously,” he empathized.

Unlike in the past Frank utters that sports Journalism has today been elevated to the high level it has reached today. “This is not only because people really like sports, but because of the level of passion and degree of professionalism some sports Journalists have put into their trade, both internationally and nationally”, he said. “In our country Liberia, sport Reporters or Writers must not be relegated to the less significant component of our noble Journalism practice,” he warned stakeholders in the sector. At the same time, the Public Trust Media Group Boss urged the sporting press to rise above petty jealousy, envy and division and close ranks to contribute to the development of sports through the practice of good Journalism.

Good Journalism, he emphasized, be it sports reporting, political, economic or health reporting, demands that, “we be accurate, fair, balanced and fearless in the best interest of the public”.  Additionally, he urged SWAL, saying: “Your mission therefore must ultimately be to promote the development of sports, not individuals controlling sports.This is because, if we promote and develop sports, the youths will benefit, the nation will also benefit and the sporting press will also benefit.Never more should SWAL return to the bitter and dark days of internal leadership rift and conflict, which became so intense that fellow sporting Journalists had to end up in court.”

“Let the resolution of that rift and the coming on board of this new SWAL leadership, headed by prolific sports broadcast Journalist, Kolubah Zayzay and his other superb officials, be the beginning of a new chapter of cohesion and immense professionalism. Be reminded that many newsmakers thrive in a situation where the media is fractured professionally.Such is a perfect opportunity to divide and rule.Never should you in SWAL let a repeat of those bitter days to happen,” he, among other things, further cautioned SWAL. Meanwhile, the celebration later ended with a mini tournament between four auxiliaries of the Press Union of Liberia(PUL), namely: The Sports Writers Association of Liberia, Executive Mansion Press Corps, Legislative Press Pool and the Judiciary Reporters Association of Liberia.

The Sports Writers Association of Liberia won the giant size trophy after defeating the Judiciary Reporters Association in the opening fixture two goals to zero and climaxing the tournament with a convincing and easy victory of three goals to zero over the Executive Mansion Press Corps respectively. Among other things, the 34th anniversary celebration is part of the new leadership plans of rebranding the Association as well as uniting members of SWAL after over a year of political differences, says President Kolubah Zayzay.

“It is time that we unite, work together and move our noble Association forward,”Zayzay added. According to him, decentralization, membership welfare, capacity building, networking, collaboration and partners are among the many priorities of his administration.

 

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