Sports merchandising: The way to go for sporting entities
Sporting disciplines in the country have a lot to gain by merchandising their brands and logos and profiteering from them

Sports merchandising: The way to go for sporting entities

The sale of sports merchandise is one of the biggest ways owners of sporting clubs across the world use to raise funds to run their clubs and also whip up interest of their supporters.


This phenomenon, for instance is obvious when it comes to clubs in the English Premiership, the Spanish La Liga among many others in Europe and across the world.

Among the merchandise is the jerseys with the names of players embossed behind to give their supporters an opportunity to feel their favourite idols.

In Ghana, this practice is not common although the two biggest football clubs in the country, Accra Hearst of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko, have tried in many ways to capitalise on that trade to make some money to run their clubs.

One of the major reasons for the failure of the clubs in the country to sell merchandise to raise funds is because of the many fake ones that are also printed by private individuals who have no right from the clubs to do so.

Unfortunately, the club owners have no proper mechanisms to stop the practice.

The apparent lack of interest as a result of the unattractiveness of the local football league is  also major factor contributing to the lack of interest in sports merchandise.

When basketball legend Lebron James moved from Cleveland Cavaliers to join Los Angeles Lakers, over million Los Angeles Lakers jerseys, mugs, bags, caps, pens and products with the Lakers logo embossed were sold.

The phenomenon was not different when Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi transited to Al Nassr and PSG respectively. Their new clubs sold millions of jerseys and other merchandise related to the club.In the case of Al Nassr,its various social media platforms which had thousand followers suddenly grew to millions overnight.  

It is projected that the sports merchandising will reach close to $50 billion in North America alone by 2027.

In 2021, Bayern Munich sold 3.25 million T-shirts, more than Real Madrid and Liverpool, the biggest sellers in years past. This was largely due to the design and colour of their new jerseys they unveiled for the new season.

Sports Merchandising

The multi-billion dollar sports merchandising industry is focused on selling team or league jerseys, T-shirts, hats, sweatshirts and collectibles, as well as exercise equipment, sports equipment and other items. Merchandising is key to any sporting industry. It involves the fans by creating walking advertisements that will be seen all over the world.

Merchandising in Ghana 

In November 2018, Kotoko opened an official club store in Kumasi to sell the club’s merchandise in a grandiose ceremony. The club had then signed a partnership with a Portuguese kits company to supply it kits and other club paraphernalia. The jury still remains out there to ascertain if supporters patronised the merchandise and the club accrued the needed profits from the sales of these merchandise.

Kotoko, a club with a national appeal and supporters all over the country failed to open similar stores in every region or major cities in the country.

That was a cardinal mistake which the club has failed to address untill now. The club also failed to differentiate its unique design and logo from the other sellers who were cashing in on imitated merchandises of the club.

Accra Hearts of Oak is no different. With a miniature store beneath its club office in Accra, the club has failed to cash in on its popularity by taking advantage of sports merchandising which can fetch them lots of money.

Mr David Obeng and Mr Opare Addo

The Graphic Business Sports Team decided to enquire from the two most populous clubs in the country, Hearts and Kotoko, about what has happened to the merchandising of their logo and brand.

Mr David Obeng, the PRO of Kumasi Asante Kotoko told the Graphic Business that a separate entity outside the club was given the task of handling the sale of the club’s jerseys and other paraphernalia and account to the club after sales.

“Our jerseys are being sold out and our fans continue to patronise our jerseys and any other products associated with our brand and our logo,” he noted.

He however, couldn’t get drawn on the number of jerseys and amount other club’s from the sale of their make for the club merchandise. “I don’t have those figures off my head,” he stated.


With Accra Hearts of Oak, Mr Opare Addo, the club’s PRO, told the Graphic Business he has to contact the sales people to give exact figures. He ,however, believed Hearts merchandise are well patronised by supporters.

Other sporting entities

Football is the eye of the storm when it comes to sports merchandising in Ghana. It is the most popular sports in the country. However, other sporting disciplines can harness and benefit from merchandising.

In the Greater Accra Region, there are some of the least popular leagues such as the  Greater Accra Volleyball League, Greater Accra Handball League and Greater Accra Table Tennis League.

These leagues,that have relatively few supporters and fans, can create a brand for themselves, design their jerseys with slogans, unique colours and sell them to their fans.


These fans will then form a close connection with these colours, slogan and brand design of the clubs they support.

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