Mega-events i vækstlande: Succesgraden af FIFA World Cup 2010 i Sydafrika

Jacob Tue Hansen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Mega events in emerging markets Measuring the success rate of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa In the summer of 2010, a new era commenced within the hosting of sporting mega events. For the first time in history, the most popular modern-day event of all, the FIFA World Cup, was to be held on African soil. The most developed country of the continent, the emerging market of South Africa, was as host country handed a unique opportunity to re-include Africa as a market of interest in the eyes of multinational corporations. Also as a tourist destination, South Africa desperately needed some renewed attention from beyond the borders of Africa. Due to numerous social problems such as poverty, uncontrollable crime rates, an HIV/AIDS epidemic, unforced racial division, social inequality, and hostility and xenophobia towards immigrants, South Africa was not the first choice for foreign investors and tourists deciding on their next destination. These negative aspects of South African society have spawned an almost irremediable global image riddled with stereotyping, afro-pessimism and a lack of belief in eventual recovery of the African market. This negative image arguably made the 2010 FIFA World Cup a do or die situation for the host nation. When South Africa was selected as host back in 2004, a band of sceptics were quick to proclaim a successful event in South Africa an impossibility due to the country’s lack of experience in the hosting of major events along with its overall status as an underdeveloped nation. Undoubtedly, the vast amount of disbelievers was a motivating factor for the hosts, and with the entire population of Africa rallying behind them to produce a memorable event, South Africa began a costly and demanding journey towards establishing the foundations of a well-staged event that would prove the sceptics wrong. This study is aimed at exploring the strategic challenges faced by the South African organizers in connection with the 2010 FIFA World Cup and conclusively tries to measure the success rate of the entire hosting process. In order to measure the level of success, it is imperative to determine the success criteria by examining the potential of an event of this particular nature. This preliminary aspect of the study consists of an introduction to the constituent parts of the South African society, including the political, economic and societal circumstances leading up to the 2010 event. This section also contains a review of the determinants of the pre-existing state of the South African image. Following this introduction, the study takes a more analytical approach to the internal and external expectations and hopes of the South African role as host. Especially the domestic expectations can vary remarkable as the politicians, the urban residents, and the rural population may have very different opinions of what they consider a successful event. The FIFA World Cup being an enormous event of global proportions, all the elements and integral components of the hosting process could not be examined in this study due to character restrictions. As the living standards in South Africa is kept at a minimum partly due to the country’s weak image causing a lack of global interest in Africa, the concept of Nation Branding has been selected as the primary strategic focus of this study. Using Simon Anholt’s theory of competitive identity and his definitions of the channels of national reputation, the study takes an in-depth approach towards assessing the effects of the tourist attraction aspect of the South African Nation Branding campaign. The final section of the study contains a discussion of the available and relevant post event surveys and data of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. On the basis of the findings of these data and the established success criteria from the previous chapters, the overall success rate of the South Africa’s hosting of the Cup is evaluated. Since the event in South Africa is the first of several World Cups taking place in emerging markets, the conclusions of this study is also aimed at providing some useful advice and serving as a work of reference for future host nations.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages98