19 March 2009
It’s not only his football skills that Spain and Liverpool football star Fernando Torres is brushing up on ahead of the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup that kicks off in South Africa in June – it’s his language skills too.
From this week, South Africans will hear the likes of Torres and Brazilian superstar Kaka speaking first-hand on their television screens about how they are looking forward to coming to South Africa for Fifa’s “Festival of Continental Champions”, taking place in four South African cities from 14-28 June.
The television advert featuring the two stars ends with Torres saying “Ke Nako”, which in South Africa’s Sotho language means: “It’s time”.
The advert forms part of a 2010 Fifa World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) campaign to generate excitement ahead of the event, under the theme: “Ke Nako. Time to host the Champions”.
An important World Cup curtain-raiser, the 2009 Confederations Cup features European champions Spain, South American champions Brazil, African champions Egypt, Asian champions Iraq, Concacaf champions United States, Oceania champions New Zealand, 2010 hosts South Africa and reigning world champions Italy.
‘In our own backyard’
“Fernando Torres and Kaka are true superstars of modern-day football,” LOC chief executive Danny Jordaan said in a statement. “South African residents see them week in and week out displaying their brilliant football skills in some of the biggest leagues and most famous stadiums in the world.
“Now, they have the chance of seeing these famous names, as well as the likes of Ronaldinho, Robinho, Andrea Pirlo, Adriano, Cesc Fabregas and many others right here in our own backyard on our own local football fields,” Jordaan said.
“We want to encourage South Africans and visitors from around the world to take up this historic opportunity to see these players live in the flesh right before their eyes.”
Local sporting icons also feature in the new promotions campaign, with South African cricket heroes Graeme Smith and Makhaya Ntini getting behind the campaign and featuring in upcoming television and radio advertisements.
The campaign will encourage South Africans to host the event in a distinctively African way, from learning how to blow a vuvuzela (the distinctive air horn blown at South African football matches) to wearing a makarapa (the colourfully adorned hard hat worn at matches by South African fans).
It will comprise nationwide television and radio adverts, an intensive broadcast and print media campaign, and outdoor advertising in the four Confederations Cup host cities: Johannesburg, Tshwane/Pretoria, Rustenburg and Mangaung/Bloemfontein.
It will also involve Confederations Cup “activations” at shopping malls, taxi ranks and the canteens of major South African companies, where fans will be assisted in purchasing tickets for the matches.
The campaign will also focus on ways South Africans can contribute to becoming good Confederations Cup and World Cup hosts.
“We want to encourage South Africans to take emotional ownership of this tournament, to see themselves as hosts, and the best way is to go out and fill the stadiums and welcome the teams and visitors to our country,” said LOC chief marketing officer Derek Carstens.
“We know that South Africans will rise to this call, and we are focusing on making it as easy as possible for them to purchase their tickets.”
SAinfo reporter and the 2010 Fifa World Cup Local Organising Committee
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