05 March 2010MTN says Africa is United and Ready for the World CupMTN to rally continent behind the African teams competing in the 2010 FIFA World CupJohannesburg: Global mobile operator and 2010 FIFA World Cup sponsor MTN today unveiled a campaign to unite Africans behind the notion of a continental win in the upcoming international football showpiece.
The effort, which will see the company roll out its Africa United campaign across the continent, comprises communication across all channels; print, broadcast and online.
“Simply hosting a tournament of such magnitude is already a win for Africa,” says Cambridge Mokanyane, MTN Group’s2010 FIFA World Cup™ General Manager. “Imagine an African team in the final, and bringing the cup home.”
The notion of an African win is not far-fetched at all, says Mokanyane, pointing out the vast number of African international football stars plying their trade on European club pitches. “Players compete in top competitions globally, and are already ranked among some of the best. Now it’s simply a question of getting the African continent behind this notion, and already a large part of the challenge will have been met.”
Equally bullish about the possibility of an African win is Jean-Simon Ngann Yonn, MTN Cameroon’s Chief Marketing Officer, whose country is among the African 6 Pack which has qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
“The Africa United campaign is a political statement which MTN has been advocating in the market for a long time, and is in line with MTN’s ongoing efforts to contribute to Africa’s development. We have been ready for the past 2 years, and we are now 120% ready,” says Yonn.
Yonn’s Nigerian counterpart, Bola Akingbade, adds that the Super Eagles’ supporters have been preparing for the tournament since 2006. “Not only does Nigeria have a strong national team, but off the pitch, a legion of supporters who feel that an African dream has to be fulfilled this year. Player and fan, it’s about a united continent – ultimately.” “One of the African teams must be in the final. We are crossing our fingers.” So says 2010 FIFA World Organizing Committee CEO Dr. Danny Jordaan, who also has high hopes for South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Algeria - the six African teams to take part in the2010 FIFA WorldCup™.
“We expect a lot from these teams. I think we have teams of high quality on this continent,” says Jordaan. He is under no illusion that the going will be tough for all of the African teams, however. All of them are in difficult groups, and getting through the first round of the competition will be “a challenge” for them all.
Mokanyane points out that Ghana are the 2009 Under-20 World Cup champions, and Nigeria reached the finals of the under-17 World Cup, pointing to the high standard of these two nations’ football. “The quality is certainly there. With strong support, I think they will do well.”
Preparations for the beautiful game’s ultimate showcase are underway across the continent,“We have been ready since the 2006 FIFA World Cup. MTN will be organizing additional viewing centers in bars and cinemas across in major centers, and roll out consumer promos and partner with Ghana’s national broadcaster for live screenings of the games across the country. Fans in Ghana and, indeed across Africa, are counting down,” MTN Ghana’s Chief Marketing Officer, George Andah of Ghana says.”
Serame Taukobong of MTN South Africa sums it up succinctly: “The 2010 FIFA World Cup has not only put South Africa on the map. It has put the spotlight squarely on Africa. Win or not, we are all victors in this tremendous effort.”