Football Fridays to ignite Team SA

Walk it, talk it, wear it, share it! It's all about football – and, ultimately, being part of the same team: Team South Africa
Walk it, talk it, wear it, share it!
It’s all about football – and,
ultimately, being part of the same team:
Team South Africa

With less than 280 days to go until Bafana Bafana run onto the pitch at Johannesburg’s Soccer City Stadium for the opening game of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the concept of Casual Friday is getting a distinctively South African makeover.

There are 40 Fridays to go until Friday, 11 June 2010, and South Africans are being urged to mark each one by “dressing down” in a way that will come naturally to a sports-crazy population – by wearing a football shirt to work.

Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 Local Organising Committee, and 2010 World Cup mascot Zakumi joined a team of 2010 partners at Safa House in Johannesburg on Friday to celebrate the launch of Football Fridays, a national initiative to build local support and enthusiasm as the countdown to Africa’s first football World Cup gains momentum.

“We are encouraging everyone to adopt Football Friday and to wear the shirt of their favourite team,” said Paul Bannister, acting CEO of the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC), adding: “Obviously, we’d prefer it if their favourite team were the national team!

“By wearing a football shirt to work or just socially each Friday, you’ll be showing your true colours as a supporter of South Africa proudly hosting the biggest sporting event in the world.”

At a recent 2010 National Communication Partnership conference, 2010 Organising Committee chairman Irvin Khoza urged the country to appreciate the enormity of the World Cup, and to make the most of the event to promote the country and the continent in all its diversity.

“We won’t get another marketing opportunity like this in the next 100 years,” Khoza said.

A joint initiative of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), the IMC, South African Tourism, the SABC and the 2010 Organising Committee, Football Fridays is part of the Fly the Flag for Football campaign launched earlier this year.

According to the IMC, it is hoped that the initiative will act as an “ignition point” for the campaign, which aims to get citizens to show their unique “South African-ness”, to support the national soccer team, and to be good hosts when the footballing world arrives on the southern tip of Africa in June 2010.