Ghana Premier League clubs have been urged to adopt digital strategies to promote their games and star players to fans in the country.
During the weekly Graphic Sports X Dialogue Series, hosted by Graphic Sports Editor, Maurice Quansah, the key speakers the CEO of Karela United FC, Elloeny Amande, and a former Managing Director of Accra Hearts of Oak, Neil Armstrong Mortagbe, emphasised the significance of clubs narrating their own stories through digital platforms, such as social media, to enhance match attendances.
The discussion focused on the topic: "Making the BetPawa Premier League Unmissable! The Role of Clubs, Media, GFA, Partners."
Mr Mortagbe emphasised that while club-generated content should primarily aim to entice fans to the stadium, efforts must also be made to offer global fans, who might not be able to attend matches in person, the chance to follow the club's stories.
He stressed that clubs should identify elements that made them compelling, such as talented young players, and explore new marketing avenues for maximum benefit before they were transferred.
"Clubs would have to frame their messaging and create promotional materials to excite fans to attend matches, but also publish content on the internet and the club's website for fans who may not be able to make it to the stadium," Mr Mortagbe said.
He also highlighted that engaging and mobilising fans had transcended physical meetings to encompass social media and other technological platforms.
Mr Amande emphasised the importance of establishing a connection between clubs and their local communities.
"For Karela, the players reside in the same communities as the fans, and that bond translates into matchday because the fans are coming to watch their friends," he explained.
He suggested that provided the financial resources were available, Ghana Premier League clubs could also adopt sports marketing strategies to promote their activities.
Addressing player migration and refereeing standards, Mr Mortagbe, who is also a sports business and management consultant, noted that the league had suffered from the exodus of its best young talents to foreign clubs, resulting in a shortage of quality players and impacting the overall standard of football.
He also raised concerns about the standard of refereeing in local matches, which had led to dissatisfaction among spectators due to questionable decisions affecting game outcomes.
Mr Amande, a legal practitioner and a former broadcaster, additionally called for a clearly defined marketing strategy from the Ghana Football Association, which could then be implemented by clubs to drive discussions about the topflight league.
He proposed the creation of a digital following for the league through sports influencers on social media to promote online viewership for the matches.
"It is about the power of narratives and storytelling... Producing stories about players that exist online and make them relatable to the communities that we live, we know what to do but in my case, the issue is how to fund those initiatives because we have bread and butter issues," he said.