Penalties, blind spots mar 2010 spin-offs

2009-08-27 12:13

THERE have been some interesting developments surrounding South Africa’s

preparations to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

For starters, Fifa is already showing its teeth in fighting ambush marketing.

They are taking businessman Graham Abrahamse to court for producing

soccer-themed key holders.

The entrepreneur registered his product with the Department of Trade and

Industry in 2004.

His registration of the holders gave him the sole right to use the design for

15 years.

Nay! Cries the world football governing body.

In their zeal to smash all ambush marketing during the tournament, the

organisation has warned Eastwood Tavern outside Loftus Versfeld Stadium to

refrain from using the term “World Cup 2010” on their signage.

But local entrepreneurs keep on looking at ways of making a quick buck from

the big event.

Why, Metcash wholesalers even tried their luck with lollipops called “Astor

2010 Pops”.

No ways! Wailed Fifa once more.

This calls for the SA government and the SA 2010 Fifa World Cup Local

Organising Committee (LOC) to come up with programmes that will clearly inform

the public as well as the business world on what can and cannot be done.

Otherwise people will keep on grappling in the dark until the tournament

comes and by the time they wake up, it will be over.

There needs to be a series of business workshops countrywide that will

enlighten people on how they can benefit from this shindig.

One also got some mixed signals from the LOC’s presentations at the 2010

National Communication Partnership Conference in Sandton this week.

LOC chairperson Irvin Khoza decried the lack of marketing of the tournament,

saying he is not feeling the tournament yet.

He also pointed out the lack of branding in host cities.

The LOC marketing man Derek Carstens sang the same tune as before the Fifa

Confederations Cup.

He said that the organisation does not have a bottomless marketing budget,

adding that they were awaiting the draw on December 4 and that they would then

“start driving hard”.

Where did I hear that one before?

It was when there were complaints about the lack of marketing for the Confed

Cup.

But Carstens beat his chest saying that ticket sales for the Confed Cup here

had matched those in Germany during the previous event.

Didn’t we say we want to stage the best World Cup ever? Then, shouldn’t we

have surpassed Germany on this one?

Another subject that has made headlines is the SABC’s decision to show Bafana

Bafana’s international friendly against Serbia “delayed live”.

For an organisation that prides itself on being the “official World Cup

broadcaster”, this was just not on.

There was a full Premier Soccer League fixture programme on Wednesday

night.

Just as everybody went to bed following a dull goalless Orlando

Pirates/Mamelodi Sundowns encounter, poor soccer commentator, Deshi Baktawer,

was conducting interviews with the two coaches.

SABC’s Durban regional office threw a lavish bash to mark 300 days before the

World Cup starts,drawing questions as to where the money came from seeing that

the organisation is R1 billion in the red.

Another interesting development is that Fifa is considering renting a

luxurious Bishopscourt mansion called Fair Seat, once owned by the late mining

magnate Brett Kebble, for four weeks during the World Cup at a whopping R1.6

million.

 

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