Soc­cer bonanza beck­ons for hosts

Me­dia cov­er­age for SA the most valu­able gain

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - SAMEER NAIK

HOST cities, teams, and fans from around the world are on ten­ter­hooks be­fore next week’s Fifa World Cup Fi­nal Draw, which will de­ter mine who hosts the likes of Fer­nando Tor­res, Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi and Kaka.

The draw will de­cide which coun­try will play where and against whom.

It’s a bonanza for South Africa’s nine host cities, be­cause this year’s line-up is one of the strong­est in World Cup his­tory. Each cen­tre is guar­an­teed to have great matches through­out the tour­na­ment.

Pro­jec­tions up­dated by Grant Thorn­ton Strate­gic So­lu­tions in­di­cate that about 480 000 for­eign vis­i­tors are ex­pected to visit for the World Cup and will spend an es­ti­mated R8.5 bil­lion, worth R11.5bn in ad­di­tional im­pact on the econ­omy, and sus­tain­ing the equiv­a­lent of 144 000 an­nual jobs.

They also ex­pect ticket sales and trans­port and ac­com­mo­da­tion book­ings to start pour­ing in once the draw is com­plete .

Gil­lian Saun­ders, head of spe­cial­ist ad­vi­sory ser­vices at Grant Thorn­ton, said: “We ex­pect around 50% of tick­ets to be sold to South Africans and, given that South Africans bought 48 per­cent of the tick­ets sold to date, this seems rea­son­able. To be cau­tious, we used an 85% av­er­age sta­dium oc­cu­pancy rate, when de­ter­min­ing th­ese fig­ures.”

Saun­ders said the real win for South Africa, though, was the in­ter­na­tional pro­fil­ing of the des­ti­na­tion be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter the event.

There will be 480 000 vis­i­tors, 18 000 me­dia rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and 26 bil­lion cu­mu­la­tive TV view­ers, while mil­lions more will read about it or watch news cov­er­age on it.

“We will be on TV screens for weeks, and this is in­com­pa­ra­ble free me­dia ex­po­sure – it would cost bil­lions if we had to do it as ad­ver­tis­ing.”

So far 671 914 tick­ets have been sold for the World Cup, with 360 565 tick­ets hav­ing been bought by South Africans.

The US leads ticket sales of in­ter­na­tional coun­tries with 360 565 be­ing pur­chased, fol­lowed by UK (481 184), Ger­many (25 060), and Aus­tralia (17 848).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.