Football, fandom and wealth – For the love of the game

5 Mins read
football fandom and wealth

Nigerians and football are inseparable; the proverbial illustration of 5 & 6.

From the dusty roads to the tarred street, all the way to the green grass of the well-lit standard field, you’ll find a genuine love for the game. But, it doesn’t stop there. Our love for the game is evident in our passion for our clubs. Ask any fan, and they can’t quite explain why they love their clubs the way they do; their fandom almost bordering on fanaticism or even cult-like. Fans collectively promote, support, and defend their clubs. It’s not hard to see why. 

Football in general is a collective sport. Collective in the sense that it is one of the few things that unite us. Our love for football knows no ethnicity, religion, or socio-economic class. The rich and the poor exercise their right to support their clubs, and they do so passionately. And they would pay any price to support them. That’s the nature of fandom.

Is there a cost to this fandom? Is there a price fans pay to support the club they love?

In this article, we attempt to quantify those costs and interrogate the price football fans pay from two different perspectives. 

The price of fandom

Picture this. Your team is playing a crucial match on a Friday evening. You leave work early, sporting a jersey with your name boldly written on it. Some of your colleagues who support other clubs jeer at you. You don’t care. You get home just in time for kick-off. Two of your friends stop by as you switch on the TV. You offer them a drink, as you all follow the match in earnest. It’s a tough match, but your team ends the game with a one-goal margin!

That’s a typical day in the life of a fan. Now, let’s break it down from a financial perspective. 

A club jersey costs anywhere between N20,000 and N35,000 depending on the quality (whether it’s original-original, or original-fake). Customizing it costs slightly less at N10,000 per jersey. You’ll most likely watch the matches with a pay-per-view subscription package, which is at least N5,000 for the cheaper plans, or as high as N24,400 for premium packages. If you enjoy watching matches at bars or hosting friends at home, you’ll need to consider the cost of refreshments. 

Chart 1: Data gathered from a survey of 130 fans shows the costs fans incur to support their team

From a survey of 130 participants, 63% of respondents spend an average of N23,000 for pay-per-view subscriptions (GOtv, DStv, or Showmax) monthly. 23.4% spend N20,000 and above to purchase a jersey, while 40% spend about N10,000 to customize it. 26.7% spend N200,000 and above betting every season, and 28.4% spend between N2,500-N5,000 on refreshments during matches on a monthly basis. 

Chart 2: Respondents and their betting spend per season
Chart 3: Number of respondents and price range they spend on refreshments per month

This is the price fans pay for supporting their clubs. The tangible ones anyway. 

When we take into consideration the non-tangible costs like trolling, heartbreaks, heart attacks, anxiety, etc, the cost increases significantly. By now, you begin to see the price of supporting your club. But, luckily, fans don’t care. And they shouldn’t. That’s the basis of fandom; through thick and thin, fans stand by their clubs. It’s extremely rare to hear of a fan of one club porting to another. That’s outright betrayal and it illustrates how deeply ingrained the love for the club is. 

So far, we have established the price that comes with support for one’s club; a price fans are more than willing to pay. What do they gain from all this?

It pays to be a loyal fan

Loyalty to your club comes with the territory, but it also comes with several benefits; the respect of your peers, a sense of belonging, a collective sense of pride, and most especially, the joy that comes with each victory. You feel like a winner.

“Supporting Chelsea FC has brought me incredible joy, particularly when the team clinched the UEFA Champions League in 2021. I was proud to be a fan. Supporting a club like Chelsea reminds me to strive for greatness, which is one of the reasons why I cherish being part of the Blues’ passionate fanbase”.

Timi – proud Chelsea fan and member of the Chelsea Football Savings Circle 2022/2023 season

But, there’s one benefit some of our users and fans currently enjoy, that actually pays off and puts money back in their pockets.

In 2021, we launched Football Savings Goals, a group savings circle for fans of respective clubs, who share all the attributes mentioned earlier. Fans can join any of the eight existing Football Savings Cirlces – Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, PSG, and Real Madrid. Once you join any of the circles, you save for every goal your team scores. We simply debit your card and save a pre-selected amount on your behalf into the plan, so you save one goal at a time. A win-win situation. 

This is the true price for football fandom; being able to accumulate wealth, completely dependent on the success of your team. You can join a Football Savings Circle here.

Why fandom pays off – sharing in your team’s success

Liverpool fans always say, “Never walk alone”. This is the case once you join a Football Savings Circle. You join other like-minded fans to save together as you support your team. And your pocket 😊. Throughout the 2022/2023 season, thousands of fans have joined a Football Savings Circle, and have saved for every goal their teams scored, amassing wealth in the process. For every time your team succeeds, you do too. 

Here’s a round-up of their performance for the season. 

Chart 4: Performances of the 8 clubs in the Football Savings Circle
Chart 4: Performances of the 8 clubs in the Football Savings Circle

Over the course of the season, fans like yourself continued to save in support of their clubs. At the end of the 2022/2023 season, Manchester United overtook Chelsea (champions of the previous season) after saving N68.6M and N57.9M respectively, taking their position as the leading team on the Cowrywise Football Savings Circle.

Congratulations to all Manchester United fans! 🎉

Now you’ve heard about fandom, team spirit, a sense of belonging, etc. But, what does it mean for your hard-earned money?

Saving as your team scores ensures you keep saving consistently throughout the season and beyond, building wealth in the process. This way, you can directly benefit from the success of your team. The scenario below paints a clear picture:

Felix supports Manchester City and decides to save N2,000 for every goal they score. In the 2022/2023 season, Man City scored a whooping 94 goals in 36 matches. Not bad. That’s an average of 2.6 goals per match, taking into consideration they played ~4 games per month. At an 8.5%  interest rate per annum, the illustration below shows how much his savings per goal can grow if he continues saving consistently every month with his team for the next 5 years.

Chart 5: Monthly growth rate when you save monthly in your Football Savings Circle
Chart 5: Growth rate when you save monthly in your Football Savings Circle

This is a price worth paying!

Final words

It’s clear that the price we pay for fandom is beneficial. It pays to support your club with your cheers, banter, and continued viewership. It also pays to save every time they score a goal. Join the group of fans whose loyalty pays off. Keep supporting your team, and be a part of their success as you continue to build wealth.

Ready to get ahead of the upcoming season? Join a Football Savings Circle.


ONGOING: Cowrywise Football Savings Goals is back for another season!

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