?Africa?s tournament??: The branding legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup?

10 Apr 2017

In 2010, South Africa became the first country on the African continent to host the FIFA World Cup. Crucially the hosting of such a prestigious tournament was seen as a chance to prove that this developing nation could host an event of this magnitude as efficiently as the developed economies who had hosted the previous editions of the event, such as Germany in 2006 and Korea and Japan in 2002. Significantly though, this flagship event was also promoted by FIFA as ?Africa?s Tournament? with South Africa encouraged to share the identity and success of 2010 with the entire African continent. Based on the findings from in-depth interviews conducted with event and destination stakeholders from national and regional South African Government departments, this article explores the 2010 tournament as a branding opportunity that was used to promote both the continent of Africa as well as the South African nation. Expanding upon previous studies in this area the challenges and successes of hosting the 2010 World Cup are examined as is the role of mega-events such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup in generating a nation and continent-wide branding legacy. Stakeholders specialising in sport event management, tourism, operations and communications reflect on the branding and exposure for both Africa and South Africa achieved as a result of the event and the degree to which this was coordinated and co-created between various stakeholders. Insights are also given as to the degree to which the branding gains achieved during the event have been leveraged post-2010. As such, this article offers an original socio-historic perspective on existing studies examining the impact of the 2010 tournament.