"Any pursuit of an idea starts with dreaming it, then pursuing it and finally implementing it".
These were the words today from the Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC), Dr Danny Jordaan, at the launch of the promotional campaign for the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009.
For Dr Jordaan, pursuing the dream of hosting the FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa has been 14 years in the making. And after all those hard years of dreaming, winning the right to host the tournament and the arduous task of organising it, the OC is on the verge of implementing it.
The Draw for the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 takes place on Saturday November 22 2008, a week away, and the tournament promises to be an exciting appetiser to the main event in 2010. It features reigning world champions Italy, 2010 hosts South Africa and the six continental champions, namely Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, New Zealand, Spain and the United States.
And while much of the focus has been placed on the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, it is the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 and the launch of today's promotional campaign that really hits home the fact that South Africa is about to host two of the biggest tournaments in world football.
The OC's Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, Derek Carstens today outlined some elements of the marketing campaign leading up to the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009. It involves a variety of media, including magazines, newspapers, television, radio and online advertising to hype up awareness and excitement for the tournament.
"We want to fill the stadiums with people. We want to send a message to the world," said Carstens about efforts to promote the FIFA Confederations Cup.
Today's launch also included a panel discussion between former Bafana Bafana stars Lucas Radebe and Andre Arendse, Bafana Bafana coach Joel Santana and Dr Jordaan.
The panel discussed the importance for South Africa of hosting tournaments such as the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 and 2010 FIFA World Cup.
"South Africans have a unique opportunity to be part of this huge event. To have the likes of Spain, Italy, Brazil coming to this country, it's great for us. It's great for our football. It is important for Bafana Bafana to do well during the tournament, but they need the support. We need to see South Africans getting behind the team, coming to the stadium to support the boys. It (the FIFA Confederations Cup) is going to be an exciting tournament. We do have a young team, but I think they are going to match the other teams," said Radebe, who scored against Spain's Iker Casillas in the 2002 FIFA World Cup tournament.
"It is important that we as a nation gather together to support the event," added Arendse, who was the goalkeeper when Spain beat South Africa 3-2 at the 2002 FIFA World Cup..
Santana spoke about the massive role football plays in Brazil and how he was trying to invoke the same fiery spirit amongst the South African team as that of the Selecao.
"In Brazil football is more than just a game, its passion. That is the same thing I want us to achieve in this country. I don't know whether we can do so next year (during the Confederations Cup), but we will try and in 2010, we will show everyone what we have been working on. I don't hope, I'm sure," said Santana, who has slowly brought signs of life to a South African national team that's been disappointing in recent years.
"We have to be united, we have to play with our hearts, our spirits and will. And, together we will have a good campaign to honour our national jersey. Our focus is on 2010, we are building for the tournament. But we also want to do well in the Confederations Cup," said Santana.