Africa Cup of Nations: perceptions and expectations of African soccer fans

Tensions are running high as the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final is approaching and all eyes are pointing towards the outcomes of the competition for the best soccer team of Africa. The soccer event that is hosted by Gabon offers a stage to sponsors that are taking the advantage of being in the center of Africa’s attention these three weeks that Africa unites on the football field. For this occasion, TTC Mobile conducted a survey among AFCON enthusiasts in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda and asked them all about their viewing habits and sponsor perceptions.

Following the games online
How do people in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda watch soccer according to our panels? In most of the countries, a majority of people prefers to watch the games online on their mobile phone, except for Ghana where by far the most participants watch the competition on television. A remarkable finding is that radio still seems to be in the top 3 of popular ways for following soccer: a whopping 50% of our Ugandan panel members follows the AFCON by tuning in on their radios. While enjoying the game, soccer enthusiasts prefer to drink soft drinks (39%), water (25%) or beer (13%).

Sponsors of the Cup
Tons of money go around in the sponsor deals that are made during the AFCON. The main sponsor of the event is and will remain Total for the next 8 years. Are spectators of the event across Africa aware of this? For over a third of the participants it is clear that Total is the official sponsor of the Cup. Other brands that many panelists associate with sponsorship of the AFCON are Orange, Adidas and Coca Cola. The various mentions of Coca Cola are remarkable, as the soft drink brand is not related to the AFCON in any way this year. Many Ghanaian and Ugandan panel members do not know what sports brand is sponsoring their own national team. Only a small part of the Ugandan panel knows that their national team is sponsored by Erreá and less than half of the Ghanaians knows that the Ghana team is sponsored by Puma.

The Africa Cup of Nations takes place in Gabon this year.

The absolute favorite sports brand of our panel is Adidas, followed by Puma. Not surprisingly, these two sports brands are the main suppliers at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, in contrast with Nike, that is not present at the AFCON 2017 at all. Hardly any panel member chose Nike as a favorite sports brand.

We are improving as a continent.”
The next global soccer event will be the FIFA World Cup in 2018. Do Africans believe an African country can be one of the next world champions? Our African panelists are positive: more than two-thirds expect this to happen within the next 15 years. When asked about the quality of soccer at the AFCON, many panelists indicate that Africa’s overall soccer performances are improving.

But first we will have to wait until Sunday, to see which country will win the great final. Out of our survey participants, only the Ghanaians are currently still rooting for their own team as only Ghana has made it to the semi-final, in which it will compete with Cameroon on Thursday. A great majority of the Ghanaians is convinced that Ghana will win, whereas panel members from Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria are more inclined to bet on Egypt. Sunday night will tell.


Capturing tastes, preferences and opinions of the next billion consumers
Our mobile survey sampling consists of a dedicated network of mobile partners to send SMS invites to mobile phone users and transfer airtime incentives (prepaid top-up) to our panel members directly after survey completion. The survey platform is agnostic as to what device or browser type panel members are using. They can reach the platform on both feature and smartphones. We develop surveys that are data-friendly and can easily be set out in areas with low bandwidth mobile internet. To ensure that our panel members are real and unique, we capture more than 20 data points (digital fingerprinting).

Working with our joint venture partner MetrixLab
MetrixLab, part of the Macromill Group, is a global provider of consumer insights and marketing analytics solutions. The partnership between TTC Mobile and MetrixLab has led to the recruitment of high quality mobile panelists and profiled databases. The combination of the two companies is of great value due to the expertise of MetrixLab in market survey research and TTC Mobile’s years of experience in providing reach and audience engagement in emerging markets.

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