Most important football event of the world kicks off in Africa November 27th, 2009
By Hong-Jae Kim
Deputy General Manager
Overseas Promotion Team
Hello to all Kia blog readers!
My name is Hong-Jae Kim and in charge of sports marketing activities (like the FIFA World Cup™ and Australian Open) at Kia headquarters in Seoul. Today, I’d like to talk about the FIFA World Cup™ in regards to the impending Final Draw which marks the start of the official countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ tournament.
Since the inaugural edition, held in Uruguay in 1930, 18 tournaments have been staged (although two were cancelled in 1942 and 1946). The FIFA 2010 World Cup™ will be the first time that Africa hosts the event. With some 200 days left before the opening match, the complete line-up of teams for next year’s tournament was decided on the 18th.
The qualifying stage began in August 2007. For 27 months, tears of joy and disappointment flew around the world as teams battled it out on the pitch to secure a berth in South Africa. Thirty-two countries made the cut, including Brazil, which has never missed a FIFA World Cup™, North and South Korea, who have never gone to the FIFA World Cup™ at the same time; and Algeria, which booked their place after beating Egypt in a tense playoff after the two countries tied in their group.
Traditional football powerhouses like Portugal also squeezed into the final stage after drama-charged playoffs. Fans can thus look forward to a spectacular showdown between international football stars in South Africa next year.
The Final Draw, which is expected to attract just as much attention from fans as the opening game, will be broadcasted live online through the official website of FIFA (www.fifa.com).
Just to give you some perspective, some 4,000 guests and 1,000 media professionals watched the Final Draw for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. It also attracted a TV audience of 300 million individuals in 150 countries.
With the composition of the groups having a significant impact on the outcome of the knockout round, much attention will be focused on which countries form the ‘Group of Death.’
During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the grouping of the Netherlands, Argentina, Cote d’Ivoire and Serbia-Montenegro grabbed headlines. At the 2002 World Cup Korea/Japan, Group F was infamous for featuring England, Argentina, Sweden and Nigeria, prompting many to call it the worst grouping in FIFA World Cup™ history.
Kia is proud to be an official automotive partner of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. We’re holding a fun online event right now in which you can win tickets to the opening match in Johannesburg by predicting the outcome of the Final Draw. Visit our corporate homepage or our FIFA World Cup™ promotional site (http://fifa2010.kiamotors.com) to submit your entries before December 3.
Best of luck to all 32 teams with the Final Draw and the main tournament. And finally, I hope that Kia BUZZ readers will continue to show support and interest in our FIFA World Cup™ marketing activities.