The FIFA World Cup Soccer tournament, held every four years, is the biggest single-code sporting event in terms of television audience in the world. It is even bigger than the Olympic Games. Next year’s tournament, the 19th since its inception, will be held in South Africa, making FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, a happy man as he always dreamed of bringing the tournament to the African continent.
The tournament commences on 9th June 2010 and continues for 4 weeks, culminating in the final match, which will be held in Johannesburg on 11th July. The games will be watched by billions of viewers worldwide, making it the most watched sporting event in the world. The global interest in the tournament is enormous and this makes it an excellent internet marketing opportunity.
How will South Africa, the host country, benefit from the FIFA 2010 World Cup? Enormously, some will say. For example, it is estimated that 129,000 jobs have been created, contributing about $3 billion to the gross domestic product. From this, $1 billion will go to the government in taxes. In addition, and this is most important from an internet marketing perspective, 350,000 people will travel to South Africa for the tournament, spending a further $1.3 billion.
Three million tickets will be sold and, for those who cannot get tickets, there will be hundreds of venues set up for public viewing with giants screen televisions. In between football games, people will be able to travel, go on sightseeing tours and visit world heritage sights such as Robben Island, Table Mountain, the Cradle of Humankind to mention a few.
South Africa prides itself on their warm, welcoming hospitality and the nightlife will also be a major draw card for foreign visitors. There are pubs, nightclubs, wine bars and the local taverns, known as “shebeens” are a great way to have a lot of fun. For internet marketers, the hospitality and travel/tour industry will be a major focus as this will be the most utilized by visitors.
Many of the visitors to South Africa will be making use of the internet to find places of interest and leisure. For this reason, effective internet marketing for businesses in these industries is essential to take full advantage of these opportunities. Effective campaigns run by internet marketers can ensure that the various places of interest such as pubs, bed & breakfasts, hotels, sightseeing venues etc. get the internet exposure they need to make money.
The 19th FIFA World Cup tournament is an excellent opportunity for hospitality, retail, travel and entertainment businesses to make their mark in the South African economy.