Can Herve Renard Help Ivory Coast Fulfil Its Brand Potential? [Ventures Africa]
(Ventures Africa Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) VENTURES AFRICA – For a team that boasts global stars such as Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba in the last decade, Ivory Coast ought to be able to stake claim for more tangible success. However, in the period of the ‘golden generation’, Ivory Coast’s main achievements have been a maiden appearance at the World Cup in 2006 and reaching the AFCON final in 2012.
It has been a continuing story of unfulfilled potential and in a bid to reverse the many cases of being close yet so far, the Ivorian Football Federation (IFF) led by Augustin Sidy Diallo announced the appointment of 2012 AFCON winning boss Herve Renard as the new coach of the national team.
Renard will lead the team for two years and will be tasked with football development and leading the national team and IFF boss Augustin Sidy Diallo had said that the candidacy of Renard was improved by his 'knowledge of African football'. Renard's contract details are mystery for now with the IFF simply saying that it 'fits' in the budget. However with most recent ex-boss Sabri Lamouchi earning $1.03 million per annum, Renard's pay will probably not be too far off the million dollar mark per year.
For many Ivorians, the choice is a popular one as Renard has a solid reputation having beaten Ivory Coast to make Zambia champions of Africa in 2012. However, the big question is if Renard can turn Ivory Coast into the giants they ought to be- on and off the pitch.
Given their numerous stars, Ivory Coast’s national team ought to be a far more lucrative entity as a majority of its players play at top clubs across Europe. Ideally, this should be good enough to attract significant corporate sponsorship but with the extra dimension to marketing required for African national teams, success is usually the key factor in accelerating the process. Despite the relative lack of success for Ivory Coast, the marketing department at the Ivorian Football Federation has been done a commendable job of signing up Korean car brand Kia Motors, Qatari medical facility Aspetar, and French telecoms giants Orange.
Regardless, Ivory Coast have enough potential to evolve into a commercial behemoth. Their players are already some of Africa’s most marketable with their faces being some of the most easily recognizable in the global game and the challenge for new boss Herve Renard will be to deliver success which will stimulate upward movement in the sponsorship books of the Ivorian Football Federation.
Renard has a two year window to make a mark with his first task being ensuring qualification for the 2015 AFCON in Morocco and he will be hoping that the big stars of the golden generation can be motivated for one last push to attain footballing immortality in the West African country.
Renard’s job is an attractive and difficult one, and only time will tell if the Frenchman can turn the world’s biggest producer and exporter of cocoa beans into the champions of the African continent thus elevating the brand of the national team and massively improving its earning potential and pulling power.
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