Exciting clashes, triumphs and tragedies, joyful and often heart-breaking matches - that is the FIFA World Cup™. It may be 926 days until the first ever FIFA World Cup™ in Africa kicks off on 11 June 2010, but the ball is already rolling with the opening of the first Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Store today (25 November), a few hours before the Preliminary Draw at the International Convention Centre in Durban, South Africa.
In a ceremony to mark the occasion, Danny Jordaan, CEO of the Local Organising Committee, FIFA Executive Committee member Franz Beckenbauer, 2010 FIFA World Cup™ ambassadors Mark Fish, Phil Masinga and Doctor Khumalo, and Jon Spotts, Chief Executive Edgars Department Stores Division, all lined up to shoot footballs simultaneously through the temporary shop's entrance, which was decorated to resemble a goal. Ten additional shops will open on 26 November at various Edgar's stores countrywide, with 150 more set to follow in the coming months.
The official stores will enable fans to experience the unique atmosphere of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. Customers visiting the official fan shops will be transported into a world focusing on the historic event on African soil. "Every time I come to South Africa I can feel the excitement and growing anticipation. With today's opening of the first official store, the 2010 FIFA World Cup has become part and parcel of people's everyday lives. The merchandise allows football fans to taste the passion and make a connection with the event," said Beckenbauer. "I am sure that the official stores with their great product lines will satisfy the needs of the fans in their warm-up for the 2010 event as the official shops in Germany did successfully for the 2006 World Cup."
Danny Jordaan added: "Merchandising has become a big part of the World Cup experience. Not only do football fans dress up in the colours of their teams at a World Cup, but also in the colours of the tournament. The opening of the first official store provides football fans, officials and the general public with the first opportunity to start 'wearing the tournament' so to speak. It also afforded the delegates at the Preliminary Draw the opportunity to take a piece of Africa's first FIFA World Cup home with them to their countries of origin."
The cooperation with Edcon has been facilitated by FIFA master
licensing representative Global Brands, which is responsible for
coordinating global merchandising on behalf of the world governing
body for all of its competitions including the FIFA Confederations
Cup 2009 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. Official FIFA World Cup
Stores have already enjoyed considerable success in the past. The
very first official FIFA World Cup shop opened on the
Champs-Elysees in Paris in 1998, while 18 shops were set up 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 replicas of the official mascot.