Deputy President concerned at slow ticket sales

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pretoria - Deputy President Baleka Mbete has expressed concern at the slow ticket sales for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and has urged South Africans and Africans to start buying more tickets.

"We are really not happy at the rate at which South Africans and Africans are buying tickets," Ms Mbete said at a press briefing on Thursday following an inter-ministerial committee meeting at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

"We would like to urge South Africans to buy tickets for the Confederations Cup. Really this is a straight forward call. It would be sad to be faced with stadiums full of people coming from elsewhere and not from right here at home and the continent."

Ms Mbete said while the committee was aware that people could possibly not afford the tickets, South Africa was under pressure to get its residents to buy the tickets not only for the June spectacle but the 2010 World Cup as well.

"There are people from America, Europe and other far off places buying tickets."

Rustenburg, Nelspruit, Pretoria and Johannesburg are due to host Confederations Cup matches when it kicks off in June.

Government was looking at various methods of encouraging people to buy the tickets, said the Deputy President.

On Wednesday the LOC launched a television advertisement carrying messages of excitement from the likes of international soccer stars like Spain's Fernando Torres and Brazil's Kaka.

The advert forms part of the LOC's second phase of promotion and marketing campaign to generate excitement for the FIFA Confederations Cup.

This intense marketing offensive is a response to FIFA's call for more robust promotion of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup.

The reinvented marketing strategy is being rolled out in two phases - with the first phase of the campaign having focused on introducing the tournament to South African residents and on the initial ticketing sales phase.

The second phase of the campaign, which begun countrywide on Wednesday, will focus on generating excitement for the tournament and on maximising attendance at the 16 FIFA Confederations Cup games from 14-28 June 2009.

Last year, FIFA President Sepp Blatter also called for more proactive marketing of these historic events on the African continent.

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