Just as the Golden Stool the ”Sika Dwa” is a symbol of significance as well as the spirit of the Asante Kingdom, the same is Kotoko, the great and the baby team of Asanteman. Labelled the “Porcupine Warriors” was a clear representation of the aggression and the incorrigible spirit of the Asante Kingdom. However, though much as the golden stool puts the kingdom of Asante in that seemingly perpetual glowing light, Kotoko sharply has been the opposite of the rich kingdom in fortunes, royalty, and administration.
Last Friday, August 7, 2020, Kumasi was literally engulfed in sheer excitement and it was as though Okomfo Anokye perhaps had resurrected from his grave on the back of his promise to return with the antidote of the inevitable death. But, it wasn’t! However, the day can be said to be perhaps the semblance of that historic day when the Golden stool was conjured from the sky by the greatest priest for Asanteman because a new name had surfaced called Nana Yaw Amponsah and was ready to be named the new Chief Executive Officer of Kotoko.
The merry and the excitement that greeted the pre and post announcement of the new CEO was tangibly evident that certain things have not gone well over the period thus the need for a new trajectory to position Kotoko where it belongs in African football if not the world. The day significantly also reminded me of the coming of Herbert Kwabena Mensah who came to into the saddle in 1999 and brought a new outlook to the porcupine warriors. But since it would appear the born with silver spoon in the mouth Kotoko, has even more receded than it perhaps was without a definitive path which is quite strange for me given the flurry of leaders who have walked past the CEO positions with all the fine acumen in administrations.
Nevertheless, the coming of Nana Yaw Amponsah seems to be the glim of hope for the porcupine folks who could not wait to see what their CEO could turn around the table for their cherished club. Young and enterprising 37-year-old Nana Yaw Amponsah glims with much vision, ideas, confidence, charisma and exudes the modern and contemporary tactics that could sway every team of their feet. Albeit his loss in the GFA elections, he demonstrated much eminence and intelligence that caught the eyes of the porcupine family to give him the opportunity that eluded him after the elections. To put on record, he was the first to show intents of challenging the status quo and his manifesto was spot on, which many even assume it served as a guide for a lot of the candidates that showed up later.
With all the glittering ideas he has been waxing lyrically about, one would say this is the time to show and I must say Nana Yaw Amponsah cannot miss a trick or a flick. At least he ought to implement 60 percent of the 33-page document of ideas he bombarded the Kotoko Board with. With lots of expectations flaring up in the sky over his appointment, there are some key pillars he would have to allocate much attention to perhaps.
As he indicated in his inaugural speech, he noted vividly that there’s nothing that he’s coming to do at Kotoko that hasn’t been done before, he’s only coming to piece them together. And listening to him on this, it gave me his sense of acknowledgement of past leaders and making them not feel they didn’t do anything significant during their tenure. That’s a great deal of communication piece. On the back of that statement, gives me the feeling that he’s not only an expert in sports administration but his expertise goes beyond what we thought he is a master of thus a good communicator.
With this, I’d anticipate he puts up an efficient communication department to reflect the ideals of the policies of what he purports to implement, properly articulate the vision and the mission of his administration to the customers of Kotoko. As evolving how Public Relation has become, the communications directorate would have to be one that will employ scientific and contemporary ways of operation thereby conducting periodic research on the stakeholders or customers of Kotoko (supporters) to get their concerns, grievances and their understanding of issues pertaining to the club and its governance.
Today the channels of the media have evolved with the bubble of the internet, the new media aside from the already known traditional media, any effective, serious, and modern PR department would employ these to accelerate the revolution on which they have resolved to embark. ”The greatest miracle that happened to this world is not globalization but technology,” said Peter Thiel in his book Zero to One, clearly defines how magical technology has been changing the world and the way we do things and the earlier you embrace it the better. Kotoko must leap over the sole traditional way of communicating and revenue generation. Today beaming live on these social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and others bring staggering revenues and I can say that’s the way to go, together with the traditional gate proceeds collection. The vice president HE Dr. Mahamudu Bawumiah at the launch of the 2019/20 league season admonished the GFA plus the clubs to resort to the digital ways of revenue generation other than the one way through the gates. Event organizers like Uncle Ebo Whyte have made sure tickets for his plays are decentralized and accessible at various outlets like shells, media houses just to mention a few this initiative is worthwhile emulating and all happy companies are different.
Money they say never sleeps a term from Wall Street and as said by Mohamed Zahny, head of social media EMEA HP,” same can be said for social media because social media never sleeps. When brands started to use social media they could start to see that a customer looks at a brand differently to how brands had thought. A customer doesn’t look at a company thinking of sales, marketing, and after-sales, he just looks at a brand almost as a person. When brands started to advertise on social media, they could see it’s two-way communication technology, so people started to speak to brands, and that forced brands to have one voice to the customer”. In this era of covid19 which inevitably has wreaked havoc on all aspects of our lives, make it more imperative for the new Kotoko to look into that direction.
Another aspect of his policies as part of his aspirations that thrills me more is the database systems he intends to create for the club. Undoubtedly, this ultimately will give the club the insight to the number of supporters the Porcupine Family has just so, we are the biggest even than NPP and NDC will not hinge on assumption sort of but underpinned by figures and facts. The bio-data collection will also afford the club the leverage to know the demographics of how many men, women, boys and girls, and the age brackets. This initiative will as well help to various geographical locations which will be essential in the decision making of authorities. It will also aid to aggregate the people and their tribes as well as their social classes their understanding of issues that will beam light on the strategic plans management wishes to take in dealing with its customers of stakeholders. It must not be a bridge too far for Kotoko to have club offices across the sixteen regions of Ghana for easy access to replica jerseys and other merchandise. This could help in the fight against ambush marketing which the new CEO is a fox in. All happy companies are different so Kotoko can’t claim to be big yet scramble and do things as everyone does. The new trajectory must see Kotoko own or vie for the finest players on the local scene if not Africa. The dispensation must see players paid well as opined by goalkeeper Felix Annan if players were to get a thousand dollars, player exodus will evaporate from our football system to make players stay to build a formidable team. Kotoko would have to strengthen their academy and the junior teams to be an effective fulcrum for the senior team. Today, Chelsea and even Real Madrid have kind of tweaked their philosophies of haven to purchase players outside their academies thereby promoting young players to build their capacity and confidence which to a certain degree makes teams save millions or thousands.
On the technical front, it’s an undeniable truth that Kotoko has a formidable hand in Maxwell Konadu; nonetheless, it will be great if the technical staff is cushioned with a technical director with a team of scout that will be a huge impetus to actualizing the desired aspirations and further prevent the haphazard way of signing players which has robbed the team off millions. Feuds between Kotoko and coaches in recent times have gained some amount of negative ramifications consequently, it will have to be one aspect that this new administration cannot gloss over. Contracts will have to be well drafted, well talked through with its targets conditions well spelt out for the two parties to understand to avoid the flurry of issues that rock Kotoko when they have part ways with a coach.
A media plan should be one of the key strategies to attaining certain visions set out by the club going into the new threshold. It’s obvious Opemso FM has christened as the mouthpiece of the club but that will not suffice for a club as illustrious as Kotoko. Therefore it will be key to identify some viable media platforms (social media team inclusive) to foster the dissemination of the club’s issues and a budget must put forward to embark on such project.
Additionally, gone are the days when organizations thought only about the revenue or dividends of shareholders but today a company can do good by doing well whilst they similarly can do well by doing good. Corporate social responsibilities (CSR) must be one of the fundamental strategies to sustaining their brand and subtly gaining attention. It can be once or twice a year.
Haven said all of the above, it is appropriate to posit that time is of essence. As the adage depicts, ”Rome was not built in a day” highlights the importance of patience and time in every endeavor of our lives. The teeming fans will have to allow time to sail them through all these important policies else their expectations of their new messiah will not be realized and they might be quick to tag him as incompetent.
After 430 years in slavery with so much awe, pain and agony the Israelites eventually had to be freed by Pharoah. As they shout in jubilation and singing hallelujah, Moses got up and he said, “We have seen the unbelievable thing Jehovah has made and we can’t thank Him enough.” Waiting in the wings, a few distances from us is the promised land but there mighty men on it verily I tell you the battle has just begun. Kotoko may have had their man, but they need to remember it’s not going to be simple and it’s also not rocket science. It took the Israelites forty (40) years to reach their destination. Indeed time is a factor.
All the best namesake.
Faabulous, the best! Masters!!!
By: Nana Yaw Preko Bimpeh.
Twitter handle @nanayawbimpeh1