I don't think we give Supa Strikas the respect and hype it really deserves! It is hands down the most innovative, best sports comic and animated series television series of our generation. You know why? Let's break it down, shall we? A thread.
Supa Strikas is a pan-African(NOTE that) association football-themed comic. It was founded by Andrew Smith, Oliver Power, Lee Hartman and Alex Kramer then produced in Malaysia by Animasia Studio, and Strika Entertainment originally in South Africa, 1st published in 2000 in SA.
By 2002 it was published in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia. Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. I remember in Kenya we used to think it was about Harambee stars. It used to be a magazine inserted in the weekend newspaper. That was a very strategic and innovative move. Why you ask?
See, over the weekend children were home. So ,they would 'force' parents to buy the weekend newspaper to be able to keep up with the Supa Strikas comic. It was also an independent magazine, so no fighting with the parents to be able to read the comic. Win-Win situation.
Imagine from that, Supa Strikas comic now prints 1.4 million copies per month in 16 countries in Africa. The televised in 100 countries globally and translated into 27 languages. They have an animated series and a game. The secret to this?
Storytelling and relatability.

1. The stories in Supa Strikas combine humour , action, technology & exploration in the context of a real soccer challenge. The stories are usually positive life messages that deal with self-actualization, fair play, teamwork and respect.
2. There are 10 main players but the rest of the players can be added as per the local context to capture the audience and to be relatable. Even with the global demand for the comic, Supa Strikas’ core characters remained local but a more international cast grew around them!
They also defined and perfected the art of product placement. The comic received sponsorship from several companies, including Nike, Caltex, and other global businesses. Consequently, the main advertiser on the jersey and supporting sponsors went all over the place.
Other than the main characters, they also ensured the name of the team, formation, colour of the jersey, home ground and heroes remains the same. This uniformity ensured that the could scale both wide and deep. Really strategically smart for uniformity, longevity and scale.
In 2019, global entertainment company Moonbug acquired Supa Strikas from the South Africa's media company Strika Entertainment (Pty) Ltd. The acquisition was to furthers the company’s strategy to create and broaden the reach of quality content.
I can't even believe that there are no scholarly articles or research or books written about Supa Strikas!! I honestly cannot fathom that. Africans, how? I mean about their model, how they were able to crack the global market, how they've survived this long...I mean..EVERYTHING!
We can discuss so many things about Supa Strikas; from product design, business model, customer adoption spectrum(market, brand and conversion strategies), scalability and adaptability ... I mean... It is the most successful sports comic in the WORLD!!! Somebody write a book!
If you are wondering where things are at with Supa Strikas at the moment: after the acquisition Moonbug they decided to focus on the animated series and licensing of the publication rights. Currently you are able to watch "Supa Strikas - Season 7" streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
I forgot to mention an important thing: The pan African approach in product design was very important in the scaling. Why? Africans are patriotic when it comes to sports esp football. Remember AFCON used to be HUGE in 2000s. This was key in product relatability &adoption.
Let me summary this thread on Supa Strikas by this: If there's a product that was able to crack the African(and global) market in product, biz model, innovativeness & culture, they did it. Supa Strikas a South African brand that all African kids think it's their national team.
Please let's tell the Supa Strikas entrepreneurial story in either a book, movie or documentary! In the meantime, I'll be honoured to host/moderate a panel/session with the founding team& early investors of Supa Strikas! I know the magic of Twitter, please make it happen? Please.
So, to conclude (for real, now) this thread @supastrikas was acquired by @MoonbugKids from Strika Entertainment in 2019. They then sold it to @DisneyIndia this year in March 2020. Now, Supa Strikas is owned by Disney India. I mean WOW, amazing!!

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More from @SheilahBirgen

26 Feb
Safaricom has the potential of becoming the largest African Ecommerce platform. Here is a tip to Safaricom for FREE: Use Safaricom shops as distribution centres and MPesa Agents as last mile delivery/pickup points for clients. You have the value chain and infrastructure already
Safaricom (or any telcom really) already has the infrastructure, the network, the agents, the payment gateway, the market share and mots importantly THE TRUST of the clients. Get localised merchants and wing it in the ecommerce space.
There are a few interesting models like:
Copia Kenya launches E-commerce service for buying and sending goods upcountry capitalfm.co.ke/business/2019/…
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Looking for funding or opportunities to grow your business, career or study? Here are some fully-funded Global Opportunities - with deadlines in Jan 2020!
1. Rice Business Plan Competition 2020 for Student Startups (Up to $1.5 Million in prizes)
Details: bit.ly/2SAzG2i
2. One Young World Lead2030 Challenge ($500k in funding plus mentorship)
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3. Google for Startups SDG Accelerator 2020
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4. Dalai Lama Fellows Program for Emerging Leaders 2020
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