Founded on June 14, 2000, African Lyon is one of the top Football clubs in Tanzania, based in the capital city of Dar es Salaam. African Lyon plays in the top division of Tanzanian professional football league, the Tanzanian Premier League. The club is owned by Rahim Kangezi.
In 2017 a minority stake of the club was purchased by Middle East-based sports media group, DANTANI, Inc. Sports Ltd under the banner of Dantani Football Group led by Omar Al Raisi.
African Lyon FC has a three-part Mission:
- To be one of the best sports franchises in East Africa
- To help grow the sport of football in Tanzania
- To establish a soccer academy where talented players can be nurtured and trained.
African Lyon will only be positioned to achieve the second and third parts when we are successful with the first. We are taking this opportunity to launch our four-year strategic plan, Vision 2018. It is about connectivity, integration of teams and programs under a true club philosophy, sustainability for the future, and setting up strategic partnership with key international soccer franchises.
The 2018 timeline is driven by several external factors:
- Preparation: increase in training hours
- Momentum: expansion plans targeted at the 2016 season
- Legacy Planning: strategic enrolment in national and international tournaments
- Opportunity: Emerging new talent from all over East Africa
- International Soccer scene: Forming strategic partnerships with international brands
Goals for success by the completion of Vision 2016 include:
- Economic sustainability of all major lines of business, with net revenues redirected to African
Lyon Foundation for investment into Club programs and other community initiatives
- 75% fan loyalty as measured by a combination of on-going surveys and ticket renewal rates
- Completed construction of new facilities throughout the Lower Mainland including National
Training Centre; and two Community Fields
- Introduction of African Lyon Community radio
- 90% year over year employee retention
On the way to reaching these goals, some key milestones that the Club is actively pursuing include:
- Grow awareness of African Lyon brand by 10%
- Develop and implement phase I of “AFRICAN LYON FC YOUTH ACADEMY” training programs for
staff, volunteers, and vendors
- Continuing to build youth programming through affiliations and regional partnerships
- Increase club following by 40%
In our efforts to develop Tanzanian talent, in cooperation with our parent company have successfully facilitated a few Young Players who have demonstrated immense talent and determination to seek opportunities abroad. Amongst the players we have sent abroad are:
- Nizar Khalfan (Signed 3 yr MLS, contract – USA)
- Nadir Canavaro (6 month extensive training with professional team –Canada)
- Razak Khalfan (6 month –away season between Seattle Saunders and Vancouver Whitecaps-USA
- Zahoro Pazi (3 month trial period –Germany)
- Hamis Thabit ( 1 month trial –USA)
- Mrisho Ngassa (Part of the Seattle Saunders squad against Manchester United –USA)
- Mbwana Samata ( African-Inter club player of the year (Based in Africa), CAF’s Africas finest XI)
We are continuously looking to create more opportunities for deserving young Tanzanian players to make their mark on the international scale.
Also, in attempts to promote Tanzania as a developing sports hub, we have extended invitations to foreign teams to come participate in friendly matches against local teams. Among the international teams that have visited at or request include:
- Seattle Saunders (USA)
- Vancouver Whitecaps (Canada)
- Clube Atletico Parranease (Brazil)
Football business seminars:
I have organized several football business seminars in Tanzania for the purpose of developing sports sector in the country, such seminars were:
- PMI(Playbook Management International ) FOOTBALL BUSINESS SEMINAR – 2012
About Playbook Management International (“PMI”):
PMI is a Dallas, Texas based Sports Management Company that works with professional sports teams, venues and events all over the world to assist our partners in running a more efficient and profitable business operation. PMI brings over 50 years of professional sports management experience to our hand selected clients. For more information on PMI, please visit www.playbookmanagement.com
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS’S About the seminarCREATING, GROWING AND SUSTAINING YOUR FAN BASE – MARKETING STRATEGIESWORKSHOP SEMINAR – 2013
African Lyon in partnership with Seattle Sounders FC, a major league soccer (MLS) team in the United States was proud to host a workshop that would focus on the various marketing strategies that have been successfully implemented in building, growing and sustaining a fan base.
The guest speaker was Mr. Kevin Griffin, the Director of Fan Development at SeattleSounders FC and head of delegation to Tanzania. Seattle Sounders FC is one of the most successful franchises in the history of U.S sports.
Taking into account the very strong presence of other sports in the U.S (American Football, Basketball and Baseball) the success of Seattle Sounders is remarkable and we were very grateful that they accepted our invite to run this seminar here in Tanzania.
SPORTS PROGRAMS FOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS:
In November 2008, I was able to organize some government officials ( Hon. Shamuhuna & Hon. Bendera) Sports delegation to depart to Indianapolis- USA to attend USport program for youth development.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS – 2012
Organized and sent ho. Ezekiel Maige to Seattle sounders/Seahawks
- SOCCERREX SEMINAR – 2013
Organized and sent Ho. Amos Makala Deputy Minister for Sports
- MEETING WITH PAUL ALLEN – 2013
Organized a meeting between Minister of Tourism hon. Hamis Kagasheki and Microsoft Bing co-founder & Portland Trailblazers owner Mr. Paul Allen.
- SOCCERREX SEMINAR – 2014
I organized and sent hon. Fenela Mukandala, Minister of sports and youths.
Status Report -Business with Seattle Sounders
As stated above, I write to update you on the various business ventures with Seattle. Ifelt it is important to provide you with a report from my perspective so you could blend your intervention into the reluctance of this matter.
- Paul Allen
Stephen Hall, the managing director of Vulcan Capital, Paul Allen’s private investment firm, came to Dar es Salaam on November 9-11 to discuss various project proposals. The main project that he discussed was the potential for ‘micro-grid solar in village or per-urban environments’ in Tanzania. I set up several meetings on this. More about Vulcan Capital can be found here –http://capital.vulcan.com/AboutVulcanCapital/Index.html
- Microsoft Bing( Paul Allen is a co-founder of Microsoft Bing)
- Portland Trailblazers(Owned by Paul Allen)
The executives of this franchise NBA basketball team also made a presentation that was attended by Mr. Musa and I with TTB team. The presentation showed how we could extend the Seattle Agreement into Basketball so TTB can have visibility in Basketball, Football and Soccer.
The only remaining sport on that North West Pacific area is Baseball. Paul Allen owns the baseball field next to the Seattle Stadium.
- “The Price is Right”
Seattle also made headways in generating interest from producers of a TV show entitled “The Price is Right”.
You can find out more of the show here –
- Evening Magazine
Seattle has presented an opportunity for TTB to film a week of episodes for the show, Evening Magazine, featuring Tanzania as a premier tourism destination and highlighting the Sounders partnership with Tanzania. The project was approved and Seattle invested 60,000 USD on it, this was to be done every year but due to lack of cooperation from TTB it happened only once.
- Micro grid Solar in Villages
From various successful meetings between Stephen Hall, the Managing director of Vulcan Capital, Paul Allen’s private Investment team with officers from REA and Minister of Energy, they were able to Invest 6 Million USD, for more information on this please check :http://offgrid-electric.com/)
- Tanzania Effect on the Super bowl
As it turns out the partnership between TTB and Seattle came to be known as the ‘winning Magic’ by Seattle sounders and Hawks fans because since the advert appeared in late July 2012 , Seattle’s home teams became Undefeated at CenturyLink Field.
- Joe Ricketts in Tanzania
From a good built relationship with Seattle Sounders I was able to connect Tanzania with WealthiestInvestor Joe Ricketts who introduced learning through tablets computers to Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar schools that honored country’s commitment to using technology to magnify educational impacts. Please see; http://www.joericketts.com/
Organized a meeting between IMG College http://www.imgcollege.com/ and Hon. Jakaya Kikwete, President of Tanzania. The aim is to promote Youths and providing free scholarship to athlete kids from Tanzania to United States.
IMG College is the nation’s leading collegiate sports marketing company, offering national, regional, and local multi-platform marketing opportunities targeting 190 million college sports fans – the largest and most attractive sports fan base.
IMG College is blazing new trails in the growing collegiate market with exclusive rights to nearly 90 universities and conferences in 51 of the top 56 Nielsen markets. IMG’s exclusive rights include intellectual property, experiential and promotional assets, event signage, digital, tickets, hospitality, live event radio, and shoulder programming including coaches’ TV and radio shows…customized for sponsors by a staff of nearly 400 sales and marketing professionals.
IMG College, through its licensing affiliate, The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), also represents the exclusive trademark licensing and consumer product rights for nearly 200 top schools, conferences and bowl games, and provides a comprehensive suite of solutions-based services to schools in ticketing; stadium seating; fundraising; premium events and hospitality.
IMG College produces 35,000 hours of radio programming annually on the largest network in the country, manages 5,000 hours of TV programming produced annually, is the leading publisher of college sports publications, and averages nearly 19 million unique visitors per month across its collegiate digital platforms.
Headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., IMG College employs more than 700 people in nearly 100 offices throughout the U.S.
It is my hopes someday become the premier soccer franchise in all of East Africa. We want to have the best facilities, best players, and most championships and be the team that our fans and our community are most proud of.
We will continue to unroll Vision 2018 and look forward to reporting on the achievement of milestone goals as they occur.