The preparations for the Official 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Stores moved full speed ahead with today's (21 November 2007) appointment of South Africa's largest retailer, Edgars Consolidated Stores (Edcon), as official operator in the host country. The official event stores will be located within 160 branches of Edgars throughout South Africa, with the first shop scheduled to open later this month to coincide with the preliminary draw in Durban on 25 November. Ten further stores will follow on 26 November countrywide in South Africa.
The agreement also includes the right to produce official licensed merchandise for the event. Edgars will act on behalf of FIFA's master licensee, Global Brands, to ensure that fans and visitors to South Africa can enjoy a foretaste of the excitement of the first FIFA World Cup on African soil, which will take place in nine cities across South Africa between 11 June and 11 July 2010.
"We are delighted that Edgars has teamed up with the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Their vast experience in creating excitement at point of sale provides a great platform to communicate the passion and enthusiasm of local and visiting fans through the availability of high-quality products in the countdown to the actual kick-off in June 2010," said FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke. "The shops offer FIFA and the Local Organising Committee a great opportunity to reach out to football fans across the length and breadth of the host country."
Chief Executive Officer of the Local Organising Committee Danny Jordaan added: "We congratulate Edgars on their partnership with the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It's another step in putting all the measures in place for a successful tournament in 2010 and to celebrate the event in our country. We are encouraged by the extent to which corporate South Africa has stepped up to the plate and expressed their support for the event."
Official FIFA World Cup Stores have already enjoyed considerable success in their short history. The very first official FIFA World Cup shop was opened on the Champs-Elysees in Paris in 1998, following which 18 shops were opened for the event in Korea and Japan four years later. By the time the 2006 FIFA World Cup kicked off, there were 300 shops across Germany. The success of the event stores underlines the increasingly important role that fan shops now play as local centres of attraction. The most popular products are traditionally T-shirts, scarves, badges, pens, cups, caps and plush figures of the official mascot.
"We are committed to selecting on behalf of FIFA only best-in-class licensees and retailers who can reach a wide cross-section of fans of the world's most popular sporting event," said Jonathan Sieff, Co-Chairman of Global Brands Group. "Given Edgars' incredible reputation, it is the perfect outlet to showcase the world-class merchandise we will be developing specifically for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa." Steve Ross, CEO of Edcon, continued: "We are happy to be providing millions of consumers and avid soccer fans in southern Africa with direct access to official FIFA merchandise. As South Africa's leading retailer, Edgars is proud to be associated with the biggest sporting event in African history to date."
In 2005, Global Brands was named worldwide FIFA master licensing representative until 2014 with responsibility for coordinating global merchandising for world football's governing body and its youth, men's, women's, futsal and beach soccer world cups, including the establishment of FIFA stores across all continents. For further information on the 2010 FIFA World Cup and all other events, please visit the official website, www.FIFA.com.