Tuesday, June 15, 2010

FIFA Fever: Just what the Doctor ordered

2010 FIFA World Cup – the world's largest sporting event

Sport brings people together.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup does just that. Apart from the 32 participating nations, even non-playing nations (incl. the world's most populated: India, China, Russia, ASEAN) closely follow and enjoy every match of the event. 

A not-so-quiet, very colourful SA fan

No contact with Earth

Nelson Mandela, who could not attend the Opening Ceremony
due to a sudden tragedy, seen here holding the FIFA World Cup

Packed stadiums...

die-hard fans...

the crowd roars...

Let's hear it for... Africa!

F for Football. F for Feel-good.

With all of Africa's colourful energy as seen at the Opening Ceremony... the 2010 FIFA World Cup is high on feel-good. The dances on the field (remember Roger Milla) and off the field (Diski dance); packed stadiums, crazed fans; the buzzy drone of the Vuvuzelas, the signature crowd roar...

The constant drone heard during matches is the sound of Vuvuzelas
- traditional SA horn and ancient instrument used to summon people.
Due to the loud noise (104+ db) seen as a nuisance, vuvuzelas are
'facing the music' and maybe banned from the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

More than goals, FIFA is about magical moments. On the field, it's about rare sporting encounters, mad-funny outbursts (see Maradona video below), brilliant flashes of talent, years of practice transforming into expertly timed headers, dribbles, passes... it's about golden boots and yellow cards, nail-biting shoot-outs and career-changing penalty-kicks...

Off the field, it's a whole different ballgame. It's about fans packed in pubs, worldwide kids' doodle competitions, families rooting for their national team from living rooms, record numbers calling in sick at work (see comments:), streetside parties and traffic jams, and that "goosebumps moment" as the commentator goes Gooooooooooal!

Only Maradona can fly on the field :-)

Funny Footy Moment: Argentina coach & global football icon, Maradona, not known for understatement, celebrates Arg's 2-1 win over Peru in the World Cup qualifier, by skidding along the soaking turf on his ample belly.

NZ All Whites - in it to win it

New Zealand All Whites perform the Maori haka

New Zealand All Whites: Follow them on Twitter.com/NZ_Football

For New Zealand, the 2010 FIFA WC has special significance as they've qualified (defeating Bahrain in Wellington in Nov '09) and are playing on the world stage after 28 years! Surely, Ricki Herbert and his boys will give it all they've got. Go the All Whites!

In Group 'F', NZ plays Slovakia 15 June, Italy 20th & Paraguay 24th.

Update: NZ held Slovakia (1-1). Winston Reid scored an equaliser in the 93rd minute (NZ's 1st FIFA goal) of a dramatic finish. Click to Reid, Reid and Ryan-Reid all about the historic match.

Gotta love the #WorldCup!

The Psychology of the 2010 FIFA World Cup

At a time when:
* the world's talking oil spills and the weather brings untimely chills,
* Europe has the Euro blues and Mid-East nuclear issues;
* Skies are polluted by volcanic ash and our very own cosmic trash,
the 2010 FIFA World Cup couldn't have come at a better time.
In terms of mass psychology, it's catharsis. The world needed a powerful stimulus to purge its psyche of the ravages of recession. It takes an event of the (physical/ economical) scale of FIFA WC to generate enough positive energy so as to bring the world back from the brink of (emotional/ financial) depression, trigger economies back on track, and most importantly restore public morale/ consumer confidence worldwide.

Anything that galvanizes tourism, telecom (mobile and online) and television simultaneously, has got to be global good news. So strap on yer beer boots and catch FIFA fever - it's good for you and it's just what the doctor ordered (incl. the spin doctors on Wall Street/ Madison Ave.)

Adidas Jabulani: Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Match Ball

At the end of the day, the game of football is the greatest winner and celebration seems to be universal emotion at the heart of FIFA.

Hardly surprising then, the official FIFA WC match ball is called the “Jabulani” which means “rejoice” or “to celebrate” in Zulu. Jabulani is an African name meaning “come to bring happiness to everybody”. See the Adidas Jabulani Wikipedia profile & official Match Ball webpage.

Adidas Football's The Quest - Trailer and lead-in to Facebook

Nike Football's stunning Write the Future TVC starring sports superstars

All ads capture special moments and pack them into time-tight capsules. Here are 8 of Kevin Roberts' favourite FIFA ads from around the world.

Black Eyed Peas perform at the FIFA Kick-off Celebration Concert

Music... that other great human bonding force, when combined with sport, goes beyond beauty. Check out the Official 2010 FIFA WC Kick-Off Celebration Concert on Vevo.com feat. Shakira, Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas... and an amazing line-up of local SA talent.

Here are the Top 10 stars to look out for at the 2010 World Cup.




                           Viva la FIFA!