2009 Review - Momentous milestones on the road to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011

A European record, the official slogan, four FIFA Women’s World Cup™ Countdowns, four National Supporters, a new ambassadorial couple, and last but not least, 160,000 orders for match tickets: it all adds up to a busy 2009 for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 Organising Committee (OC), whose efforts leading up to 29 October and the start of match ticket sales were richly rewarded by a flood of applications and orders. These were the highlights of an eventful year in the run-up to 2011:

12 February:
200 guests, including Dietmar Hopp, patron of Bundesliga side 1899 Hoffenheim, and Mayor of Sinsheim Rolf Geiner, are among those present at the Rhein-Neckar Arena for the first Countdown get-together ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011. An evening of panel discussions, informative films and supporting acts is aimed at raising awareness and interest in the region around host city Sinsheim. During the Countdown event, Hansi Flick and Franziska van Almsick are unveiled as the city’s FIFA Women’s World Cup ambassadors. The invited audience in Sinsheim includes Kim Kulig, the first up-and-coming player featured in an exclusive series of analyses by former Germany coach Tina Theune.

20 March:
FIFA signs off the official match schedule for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011. This confirms that Germany will play their group fixtures in Berlin, Frankfurt and Monchengladbach, the three biggest FIFA Women’s World Cup stadiums.

1 April:
The OC and FIFA stage a first joint inspection of the nine FIFA Women’s World Cup host cities. The ten-day Venue Tour from 23 March to 1 April serves to check the size and suitability of the facilities in terms of the requirements stipulated for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. "We saw for ourselves on site that the German stadiums are very well prepared for the specific demands made by the forthcoming FIFA tournaments,” commented Tatjana Haenni, head of Women's Competitions at FIFA.

22 April:
The evening of the hit friendly meeting between Germany and Brazil marks the passing of two significant milestones on the road to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011: the 44,825 crowd at the Frankfurt World Cup Arena is a new European record attendance for a women’s football match; and the OC announces the Official Slogan of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011: THE BEAUTIFUL SIDE OF 20ELEVEN! (20ELF VON SEINER SCHÖNSTEN SEITE!). Earlier in the day, Commerzbank is unveiled as the second National Supporter at a news conference held at the Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt.

26 May:
A month later, Allianz is named the third National Supporter. The official unveiling of the partnership is set for 30 May, ahead of the DFB German Cup final in Berlin.

18 June:
A major highlight of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Countdown in Bochum is the presentation of the Host City logos. The individually designed emblems provide the FIFA Women’s World Cup venues with a visual symbol of identification with the global event, and a powerful advertising device to ignite and drive awareness of the tournament in the surrounding region. The Countdown is also the forum at which REWE is unveiled as the fourth National Supporter. Shary Reeves and Dariusz Wosz are announced as the ambassadorial couple for Bochum.

22 June:
Just four days later, Deutsche Post is unveiled as the fifth of six National Supporters.

24 June:
In the run-up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, social campaign Kids’ Dreams 2011 is supporting a variety of charitable projects, specifically intended to promote and support kids and youths. DFB President Dr. Theo Zwanziger and Kids’ Dreams patron Britta Heidemann present the initiative’s goals and activities during a news conference at DFB headquarters in Frankfurt.

5 July:
On her tour of the USA, Steffi Jones is inducted into the Washington Freedom “Hall of Freedom“. She also meets up with former team-mate and US icon Mia Hamm in Los Angeles.

24 July:
The OC appoints honorary chairmen to head up the OC satellite offices. Each is the president of the corresponding DFB regional association: Dr. Rainer Koch for Augsburg, Bernd Schultz for Berlin, Hermann Korfmacher for Bochum and Bielefeld, Klaus Reichenbach for Dresden, Rolf Hocke for Frankfurt, Alfred Vianden for Leverkusen, Walter Hutzen for Monchengladbach, Ronny Zimmermann for Sinsheim and Karl Rothmund for Wolfsburg.

25 July:
Another symbolic landmark on the road to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011, as a capacity crowd packs the Rhein-Neckar Arena for the international between Germany and the Netherlands.

26 July:
At Borussia Monchengladbach’s open day to mark the start of the new season, Dunja Hayali and Rainer Bonhof are presented as ambassadors for Monchengladbach.

2 August:
A week later, at the VfL Wolfsburg start-of-season open day, Britta Carlson and Roy Präger are named ambassadors for Wolfsburg.

5 September:
Britta Heidemann and Bernd Schneider are unveiled as Leverkusen’s ambassadorial couple ahead of the men’s international between Germany and South Africa.

10 September:
Germany become women’s European champions for the seventh time, defeating England 6-2 in the final in Helsinki.

21 September:
A comprehensive Sport+Markt research study for the DFB shows 55 percent of respondents are already aware of the forthcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011.

24 September:
During the World Cup Countdown in the U-20 host city of Bielefeld, OC President Steffi Jones unveils the official U-20 logo. Former Germany international Kerstin Stegemann and TV personality Oliver Welke are named ambassadors for Bielefeld.

23 October:
Sandra Smisek and Charly Körbel are appointed ambassadors for Frankfurt.

29 October:
At half-time in the friendly international between Germany and the USA in Augsburg, Steffi Jones officially activates the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 ticketing portal. This marks the start of the first sales phase, offering innovative city series tickets. Simultaneously, the application phase begins for the Volunteers 2011 programme via official internet presence FIFA.com/deutschland2011.

The Countdown evening in the run-up to the match features a host of well-known guests, headed by Philip D. Murphy, American Ambassador to Germany. US superstar Mia Hamm is unveiled as an international ambassador for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011. Karl-Heinz Riedle and Magdalena Neuner are the ambassadorial couple for Augsburg.

2 November:
Just four days after the start of sales, ticket orders pass the 100,000 mark. The Organising Committee has thus received 26,000 applications for city series tickets.

26 November:
The final FIFA Women’s World Cup Countdown of the year takes place in Dresden. Steffi Jones announces that the Final Draw for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup will take place in the city on 22 April 2010. The event also provides the setting for the unveiling of the local FIFA Women’s World Cup ambassadors: actor Stephanie Stumph and DFB director of sport Matthias Sammer.

7 December:
As demand has exceeded supply for the city series tickets, an allocation lottery takes place at DFB headquarters in Frankfurt. Germany boss Silvia Neid and Steffi Jones start the ball rolling with a click of a mouse. 160,000 ticket orders were received, and 140,000 tickets were allocated in the lottery.

11 December:
As an added bonus for fans living in and around the host cities, tickets for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 go on sale at Christmas markets in the cities.