To have or to be, that is the question for SA

Recently, the television programme Carteblanche carried a report on the marketing activities of the German Organising Committee and highlighted the impact of their activities on the psyche of the German public as well as the perceptions of the world.

Recently, the television programme Carteblanche carried a report on the marketing activities of the German Organising Committee and highlighted the impact of their activities on the psyche of the German public as well as the perceptions of the world.

Overall, it is generally accepted that the last World Cup was successful and left a glowing mood in a previously despondent society.

'A time to make friends', a slogan adopted and used to promote the 2006 World Cup, was developed after research had shown that the general mood in Germany was gloomy, especially about the national team's potential and the preparations for the Cup in general.

The experience during the tournament changed all that, and of course the German national team progressed to the semifinals.

The relatively new fan parks (remember they were introduced in Korea in 2002) took off and many young people across Europe descended on Germany to have a party of a lifetime. Indeed, it was 'a time to make friends'.

Against that background, I have heard a generalisation that the South Africans' attitude seems to be that the 2010 World Cup is about 'a time to make money'.

I suppose that comes from the fact that the dominant discourse has been about 2010 creating business opportunities that can be taken advantage of. Many potential entrepreneurs believe that 2010 is going to turn some people into overnight millionaires.

I was recently reminded of this fact when I featured on John Perlman's show on Khaya FM. The topic then was about the possible opportunities in the tourism sector that relate to the World Cup.

Several callers to the show enquired predictably about the 2010 opportunities and whether they should convert their homes into bed and breakfasts or whether to invest in new properties for the same.

I was pleasantly surprised when a few callers phoned in to advise that it was better to invest in tourism now in order to develop a reputation and to learn the ropes as it were, than to enter the market only in 2010 and burn your fingers in the process.

My advice to people wanting to participate in the economy is usually this: 'Take advantage of the many developments taking place in the country now, going forward.

Familiarise yourself with the behaviour and performance of the economy, and take advantage of it. The various departments and levels of government, as well as the corporate sector, are all involved in the biggest ever investment in capital projects in the history of this country. The amount usually mentioned is R450 billion in 60 months. That is about R7 billion a month. A huge amount with limitless opportunities for entrepreneurs indeed.

Coming back to the question of slogans and experience, it is my conviction that South Africans are preparing for a World Cup that is more than a football celebration and therefore require a slogan to match. Any ideas on what our slogan should say?

l Tim Modise is the 2010 World Cup SA Local Organising Committee's head of communications. - For your suggestions, queries and more on 2010 e-mail TimM@2010saloc.com or check www.fifa.com

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