An international brand resource for neighbourhoods, towns, cities, regions and economic clusters.

Can South Africa Tourism Capitalize on the World Cup?

Posted by Riley Taiji
Hosting a major international sporting event like the Olympics or the World Cup is a great opportunity for any country. It not only gives the citizens of that country the opportunity to view the events first hand, but it also allows the country to showcase its culture and beauty on the global stage. I cannot think of a single better way for a country to exhibit its culture through a succinct brand that generates tourism interest all over the world.

Though I am probably somewhat biased in the matter, this is one thing that I think British Columbia and Canada did quite well in their hosting of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The "You Gotta Be Here" campaign capitalized on the public attention that the international sporting event afforded them, and showcased their distinct brands to both national and global audiences.

In watching South Africa host the 2010 World Cup, I haven't seen the same presentation of a cohesive brand. The broadcast networks have done well to show South Africa's beautiful landscapes and unique culture in between the airing of the games—but I haven't yet seen that great ad from South Africa that really delivers the final punch. For an event that World Cup organizers estimate will have an audience of 2.2 billion viewers worldwide, you'd think that South Africa would try to establish a clear, compelling placebrand that would be seen all over the world. This would be a great opportunity for South Africa to establish itself as a top beach and wildlife destination location alongside the likes of Australia and New Zealand.

To be fair, South Africa has revamped its tourism resources with the, "It's Possible" campaign. The campaign captures the country's history and country brand DNA. South African history, marked by struggle and terribly adverse circumstances, is reversed, and used to portray the powerful key word of POSSIBILITY. But will this be far reaching enough? Will they be able to bring it to a global audience? The event is still young, and for now I'm fine just watching some great soccer!


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