Soccer is Africa’s most popular sport but finding comprehensive data on the game in the continent to help in decision making is often a challenging task. Sometimes data are not available, or they are fragmented. The African Football Data Center surfaces information about player valuations, sponsorship deals, broadcasting revenue, stadia, and the social media performance metrics of players, federations, and competitions. It has, its Cameroon-born founder asserts, the potential to turn subjective opinions into hard facts. It may also increase transparency in a debilitatingly corrupt industry. “When you don’t have a scientific opinion, it becomes very subjective,” Kingsley Pungong, CEO of Rainbow Sports Global, tells Quartz. “And when it’s subjective, it becomes a subject to varied interpretations. That’s why our football is mainly not appreciated because everybody has a subjective opinion.” Pungong adds that lack of proper data on African soccer leads to undervaluation of the continent’s players, clubs, and other sports assets. The African Football Data Center has a research team that collects primary data from the internet and it works with soccer federations, leagues, and players around the continent. It was developed in partnership with KPMG Football Benchmark, which offers tools for analyzing operational, financial, and digital performances of soccer clubs. Rainbow Sports Group plans to also partner with clubs in Africa to be able to collect data on their players.
SOURCE: QUARTZ AFRICA