Johannesburg - Although the 2010 FIFA World Cup only kicks-off in June, South Africa is already reaping the rewards of hosting the world's biggest single-code sporting event, through the annual Soccerex convention.
The organisers of the convention, taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre from 28 November to 2 December, have released the schedule for this year's event, reports SouthAfrica.info.
Focusing on the business of football, Soccerex is a global event that sees the world's most experienced football business professionals come to share their knowledge about the business end of the beautiful game, with networking, not goal scoring, being the name of the game.
Involving a conference, exhibition, gala dinner and football festival, Soccerex has regularly attracted the sport's biggest names and clubs.
One of the most recent additions to the line-up, confirmed less than two weeks' ago, is Germany's Bundesliga which, through its commercial arm DFL Sports Enterprises, will include a networking reception and branding of the event delegate bags.
For the Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee, Danny Jordaan, Soccerex will have massive legacy benefits for South African football.
Referring to South Africa's isolation during the apartheid era, Jordaan said: "We often talk about South Africa's isolation in terms of playing sport, but the officials and businesses which look after the administration and marketing of the game were also isolated.
"They must be part of the discussion about what is going on in sport around the world so that South African football can be better served."
For the man at the helm of the Local Organising Committee, Soccerex is also an important event for the entire African continent.
"This is an important conversation for African football, if we want to be part of the global football economy," said Jordaan, who stressed the importance of Soccerex not only for networking and business deals, but also for learning from the experiences of others around the world.
Although South Africa has much to learn from the influx of experienced speakers and delegates during Soccerex, this year the country will also be sharing its experience.
Soccerex Chief Executive Officer Duncan Reeve said the Soccerex Expo in Sandton would serve as a blueprint for Brazil, the 2014 FIFA World Cup host.
"This Soccerex, we have all the Brazilian cities hosting the 2014 World Cup coming here to learn from South Africa," he said.