The First National Bank (FNB) is the first South African company to sign up as a National Supporter for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and FNB Chief Executive Officer Michael Jordaan set the seal on the USD 30 million agreement in Berlin on 6 July, one day prior to the kick-off of FIFA's "Win in Africa with Africa" initiative and the unveiling of the event's Official Emblem. The sponsorship agreement represents by far the largest sponsorship contract in the history of the South African bank and it further underscores the strong commitment of the FNB to football.
"This deal marks an important moment on our joint journey to the first FIFA World Cup on African soil. The fact that FNB, a renowned South African company, has joined the sponsor family of the 2010 FIFA World Cup shows yet again how much the event is supported by the South African economy," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter before adding, "we are looking forward to a successful relationship".
FNB is the first of six National Supporters who will enjoy local rights to both the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Confederations Cup hosted by South Africa during this period. The South Africans will act in their category (retail banking) as the official bank of the 2010 FIFA World Cup to provide full-service banking including commercial and corporate transaction banking as well as servicing of on- and off-site ATMs in close cooperation with FIFA Partner Visa. "From a national perspective, FNB's involvement in the 2010 FIFA World Cup will contribute to on-going efforts to promote the growth of South Africa's economy and help create a better life for all in this new season of joy," explained FNB Chief Executive Officer Michael Jordaan.
The retail bank, which was also the first company to invest significant sums of money in South African football and has been doing so since 1986, supported the South African bid for the 2006 FIFA World Cup that lost out to Germany as well as the successful 2010 bid. "This was a visionary step which, coupled with the bank's involvement in subsequent major nation-building soccer initiatives and our strong financial position, earned us the proud privilege of being in a position to help South Africa host the 2010 FIFA World Cup," said Jordaan. The 2010 Organising Committee (SAOC) expressed its great satisfaction with the new partnership. "The First National Bank was the first to support us in the 2006 and 2010 bids and it is now one of the first South African companies for the World Cup. It's a long journey that we have travelled and we are very happy that they will continue with us until the end," said Danny Jordaan, SAOC Chief Executive Officer.
FIFA's post-2006 commercial hierarchy comprises six FIFA Partners, six FIFA World Cup Sponsors and six National Supporters for the FIFA World Cup, with adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates Airline, Hyundai, Sony and Visa, the six FIFA Partners in the top tier of the new sponsorship model, awarded the highest level of affiliation to FIFA over an eight-year period. In April, Anheuser-Busch was unveiled as the first of the six FIFA World Cup Sponsors with two more sponsors to be announced soon.