2010 could be a '30-day commercial'

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Johannesburg - While most advertisements last for not longer than a minute, one South African football heavyweight reckons the 2010 FIFA World Cup could present South Africa with an opportunity to stage a 30-day advertisement to the world.

This is the sentiment of Local Organising Committee Chairman, Dr Irvin Khoza.

On 11 June 2010, the much anticipated spectacular will kick-off with month-long group stages matches, with the final game to be played on 11 July 2010.

Dr Khoza was addressing 2010 World Cup communicators at the 2010 National Communication Partnership Conference at the Sandton Convention Centre on Monday.

"Most of you know that many companies when they buy advertising time on television usually buy 30 seconds worth of advertising, that is the most common length of a television commercial.

"Everybody knows that the 2010 FIFA World Cup presents a unique historic opportunity for South Africa, think of the tournament as a 30-day commercial for South Africa - a 30-day television commercial to be watched by many billions of cumulative audience all around the globe - this is the scale of our opportunity for South Africans to present this country effectively and proactively," Dr Khoza said.

The LOC chairman said it was up to South Africans to decide what would be the message of the "30-day commercial" to be presented by the tournament.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be played in nine Host Cities over a period of 30 days during which 32 teams will play a total of 64 matches in the battle to be crowned the football champions of the world.

The tournament is expected to draw in a cumulative worldwide television audience of more than 26 billion spectators.

The total cumulative television audience for the 2006 World Cup in Germany was 26.3-billion. Assessed in terms of the number of worldwide viewers, the world cup is by far the world's largest sporting event.

Dr Khoza used the occasion to give a 2010 stadium construction update. "All the six stadiums that have not been completed are 80 percent complete and they will be completed by the end of the year," he said.

Meanwhile, recent research indicates a major shift in confidence among South Africans with regards to the country's ability to pull off a successful World Cup.

During the first quarter of 2009, a FIFA-commissioned survey revealed that 88 percent of South Africans felt a sense of pride at being the first African country to host the world cup, while 77 percent predicted the tournament would be a success.

Again in May this year, African Response's 2010 Barometer found that at least 89 percent of South Africans believe the World Cup will benefit the country.