Silverbacks Holdings is a private investment company known to focus on technology ventures, in addition to sports, media and entertainment, and lifestyle sectors across Africa.
In June, Jeanette Clark from ‘How we made it in Africa’ interviewed Silverbacks Chairman Ibrahim Sagna, asking about the business opportunities and the criteria his firm relies on.
Clark asked why Silverbacks Holdings was optimistic about sports, media and entertainment, and lifestyle industries in Africa – to which Sagna gave an engrossing answer.
The Three Levels Of Interaction
The chairman said whenever a consumer engages positively with a product there are three levels of interaction: like, love and adoration in the particular order.
Explaining further, he described ‘like’ as “if you do not like it, you simply don’t interact.” Coming to ‘love’, he noted “that is when you are willing to tolerate the limitations or the defects.”
Clark elaborated on the third level with an example on a Manchester United fan from Ghana, who has never traveled to the UK, completely enthralled by 11 strangers.
Investing In Africa’s Sports Sector
“What people need to recognise is that the National Basketball Association (NBA) has come to Africa to stay,” Clark noted. It has established a league on the continent.
The Silverbacks chairman said the decision is “not accidental and is unlikely to change”, stressing the NBA has realised a growing base of its talent comes from the region.
Establishing a league in Africa helps the association cut down on the cost of acquiring talent as they only have to pay a capped amount now, he added.
“Rome Was Not Built In A Day”
Clark said setting up a base in Africa means allowing local businesses to develop around the teams and their fans. The National Football League (NFL) has now followed suit, too.
Establishing a league in the region means “the skills will be developed here, the camps will happen here and the talent agencies will originate here.”
When asked on what lessons he had learnt from investing in the sectors, he emphasised the word “patience”. “The excitement that you now feel, palpably … is just the beginning.”