Francois Pienaar

SA offers the best stage

2005-10-11 11:14
<b>Caption: For all your bid information visit the official bid site at <a href= class=elevenred target=_blank> </a>.

Caption: For all your bid information visit the official bid site at .

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Imagine the executive board of a big production company, looking for a theatre able to stage their blockbuster show.

They have two principal goals: to maximise revenue and fund their organisation, and to maximise global exposure and so expand the broad popularity of their show worldwide.

The choice of venue is crucial.

Indeed, it is perhaps the most important decision these men will take for some time.

For it is the choice of venue that will determine precisely how much revenue they will generate, and how much exposure they will earn around the globe. The future is at stake.

There is no room for emotion.

As they meet to consider the merits of several major theatres, it is clear that the business case must prevail.

The Board members start by establishing the criteria by which they will make their decision: experience in staging big shows, likely local demand for tickets, capacity of the theatre, local regulations, projected commercial revenue, stability of the theatre management, potential to create exposure and grow the show.

To this list, they add infrastructure for, as one member notes, you need more than just a theatre to stage a show of this size.

You need a high standard of surrounding infrastructure, in areas such as accommodation, transport, IT and hospitality facilities.

In many respects, this is the position of the Council Members of the International Rugby Board as they consider whether the hold the 2011 Rugby World Cup in Japan, New Zealand or South Africa. Their decision will be announced on November 17th.

Our sincere conviction is that South Africa offers the IRB the ideal stage for the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

Consider our bid according to the criteria:

Experience in staging 'big shows': from the 1995 Rugby World Cup through various major events such as the 2003 Cricket World Cup, South Africa has repeatedly proved its capacity to stage large international events efficiently, joyfully and safely.

Likely local demand for tickets: South Africa's passion for rugby is known, and confirmed every week with capacity 70 000 crowds for major Test matches, 45 000 crowds for big provincial clashes and 20 000 for traditional school derbies,. This enthusiasm will produce record ticket sales for a Rugby World Cup.

Capacity of the 'theatre': in 2011, South Africa will offer FNB stadium (capacity: 110 000) as the major venue, with Ellis Park and Kings Park (capacities: 70 000 each) and five other match venues able to accommodate more than 42 000 spectators. This represents the finest array of stadia ever proposed for RWC.

Local regulations: creating an ideal environment for hosting major international events is a declared policy in South Africa, with the result that the legislative structure to protect the rights of each major stakeholder is exceptional. The anti-ambush marketing laws, for example, have been praised as word class.

Projected commercial revenue: any independent assessment of South Africa's capacity to attract event sponsors, generate sales of hospitality packages and merchandise, and maximise TV rights income (in the same time zone as Europe) concludes the country is best placed to maximise commercial revenue.

Stability of the theatre management: recent bickering among Saru officials, of the type experienced at some time by every rugby union (in fact, every organisation), cannot conceal the reality that SA Rugby has recently produced outstanding results on and off the field: Under-19 and Under-21 world champions, a thriving Springbok side, effective transformation, growing player numbers.

Moreover, in more than a hundred years of playing a leading, constructive role in the game, SA Rugby has never let the IRB down.

Potential to create exposure:by virtue of lying in the same time zone as rugby's largest market in Europe, through its creative and high-tech global marketing plans, South Africa will ensure more people in more countries enjoy the RWC in 2011.

Through its bold plans to grow rugby in Africa, SA Rugby will use the tournament to expand the game in arguably its most fertile region.

Infrastructure: A 2011 RWC in South Africa will benefit from a first class infrastructure, comprising accommodation, transport and IT systems that compare with the best in the world.

More revenue to fund the game, more exposure to expand the game: primed by hosting the Fifa World Cup in 2010, South Africa represents a golden opportunity for the IRB in 2011.

The Rugby World Cup has become a great show.

  • Francois Pienaar is the Rugby World Cup bid CEO, visit the official bid site at .

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