2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ is coming! August 31st, 2009
By Brandon Lee, Innocean World Wide (Sports Marketing Team)
Africa’s First World Cup
Until recently, many doubted South Africa’s ability to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The recent FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 proved that long-held fears were groundless, as South Africans demonstrated their passion for football and fierce determination in hosting a successful tournament.
When the flight attendant announced our imminent arrival in South Africa, I felt a mixture of anticipation and fear. I couldn’t help but remember the stories I’d heard from people and seen on the news about the country’s serious crime problem. Just a few days later though, I was able to forget such fears and enjoy myself, feeling only the mild sense of displacement and anxiety one encounters when traveling anywhere unfamiliar. I even imagined that the people had come up with such negative stories of South Africa because they were jealous of the country’s breathtaking natural beauty.
The staging of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ will undoubtedly be a one-of-a-kind experience for football fans and sponsors all over the world. After all, the world’s best sports show would be taking place in what is arguably one of the most beautiful places found on this planet.
Kia Marketing Activities
As the official automotive partner to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, Kia Motors conducted various marketing events during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009. The company fanned local football fever with marketing activities like the commercial display of cars, events for spectators and a car wrapping using the event’s mascot “Zakumi” near the stadiums.
The Surprising Sport: Football
Teams from USA and South Africa produced some of the most memorable moments during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009. Their astonishing upsets are further raising expectations for next year’s World Cup.
The US team was never expected to make it to the finals. In the end however, they finished second overall and presented Kia with a huge gift as an unexpected consequence. The US faced Spain during the semi-finals. Media attention was focused on the 35-match winning streak of the Spanish squad led by Torres and Villa. However, the Americans used their speed and physical advantage to challenge the favorites, and scored the first goal near the end of the first half. I was watching the match too, and right at that moment, something caught my eye – the sparkling Kia Motors A-board. At the most crucial moment, the A-board sequence revealed the Kia logo. The US sank the second goal during the second half and Spain’s dreams of reaching the finals. Sports news programs around the world flashed images of the victorious American team with Kia’s A-board behind them.
The South African players were probably the biggest heroes of the tournament. Starting with their first game, they overturned expectations and raised hopes for their performance in next year’s World Cup. Another element that surprised people all over the world was the passionate support shown by the public for the national team. I hope that next year, smiles will replace the tears spilt by spectators during South Africa’s narrow semi-final defeat to Brazil.
Anyone watching the FIFA Confederations Cup on TV would have become very familiar with the distinctive sound of the vuvuzela, a plastic trumpet blown by South African football fans. The sound of the vuvuzela at the stadium can seem overwhelming at first, but when heard with the rhythmical movements of fans, the instrument never fails to get people on their feet and cheering. The vuvezela gives local games a distinctive vibrancy and atmosphere.
1 year to go
Less than a year remains in the countdown to the first World Cup on the African continent. As an official partner, Kia showcased various marketing activities during the recent Confederations Cup. Football fans and Kia customers can look forward to seeing even more exciting activities from Kia next year.