FIFA and the 12 FIFA World Cup Host Cities have won the German Sports Marketing Award for 2007 for their organisation of the Fan Fests and their innovative, overall marketing concept for the official public viewing events.

The award, which was launched by Sponsors magazine and the European Sponsoring Exchange (ESB), was presented at the ISPO sports sponsorship trade fair in Munich on Monday, 5 February. Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder, a member of the FIFA Executive Committee, and Gerd Kolbe, the head of the Dortmund World Cup office and deputy spokesman for the Host Cities, received the award on behalf of world football's governing body and the 12 FIFA World Cup Host Cities. 

In the summer of 2006, some 18 million fans came together to celebrate at the Fan Fests, helping to create the biggest football party of all time and an atmosphere that was praised the world over.  Pictures from the peaceful and joyous fans on the Host Cities' 'fan miles' were transmitted all over the world.

"The Fan Fests embodied the immense power and attraction of football, and the people of Germany went down in history as champion hosts," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter. "Thanks to the Fan Fests, we were able to reproduce the stadium atmosphere for fans without tickets."

"Teamwork was the key to the success. Our thanks must to go the local organisers and volunteers, who were, after all, in charge of the on-site organisation. 2006 will not be a one-off experience," continued Blatter.

The Fan Fest system was developed by FIFA's German office and the 12 Host Cities with the support of the local organising committee over a period of two years. The Fan Fests, which were independent events, were actually organised by the cities themselves together with their regional agencies. FIFA was responsible for coordinating the entire operation, as well as for providing basic infrastructure including giant screens, stages, sound and 20,000 square metres of decoration in the official World Cup design.

The basic infrastructure placed at the Host Cites' disposal was worth more than six million euros and was made possible by the nationwide commitment of Coca-Cola, Hyundai, MasterCard and Toshiba, who acted as the Fan Fests' top partners.   

"The Fan Fests were a resounding success for the Host Cities. Never before have all Host Cities worked together as well as with FIFA and the local organising committee to create such a community-based experience. The World Cup not only took place in the stadiums, but also in the city centres," said Gerd Kolbe, speaking on behalf of his colleagues from the FIFA World Cup Host Cities.

The Sports Marketing Award is presented each year in recognition of the best marketing campaigns of the previous 12 months. The overall winner was determined via a public, online poll in which more than 2,000 people from the world of sports marketing voted.