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Post-match analysis

Post-match analysis

Every man and his dog seemed to piggyback the World Cup this year to try to boost their business. Jamal Al Mawed of D’PR takes us through those who scored big.

September 21, 2010 2:16 by

For the doom-and-gloom analysts who predicted a month of crime, controversy, and carnage for visitors, South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 World Cup was something of an anticlimax. In the end, the closest the tournament got to controversy was a Luis Suarez handball, and most of the violence was actually committed on the field… by Holland’s Marc Van Bommel.

Here in the region, World Cup battles were a distinctly corporate affair, as companies vied for a piece of the football pie. The resulting melee included international sabotage theories, 3D games, live airport broadcasts, and a 42-hour football match. Now that the debris has cleared, the lessons to be learned from South Africa 2010 should provide food for thought for marketing managers when Brazil 2014 beckons.

Build it and they will come. As the Rolls-Royce of sporting events, with a predicted cumulative viewership of 20 billion people for the entire tournament, the World Cup almost guarantees success to outlets showing games. This time around, local companies needed no persuasion to invest their money into bigger and better venues for live broadcasts.

Du and Coca-Cola teamed up to provide us with One, an upscale two-storey marquee in the Burj Khalifa area featuring 35 plasma screens, two giant six-square meter screens, and seating for 600 guests. Jumeirah Group built The Arena in Jumeirah Beach Hotel with a capacity for 600 viewers, while popular beach bar Barasti followed suit with its Barasti Beach Stadium, seating 1,200. Dubai Media City hosted 3,000 fans at The Palladium, while the Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence was the location of the Kia Fest marquee, covering an entire parking lot. Even the newly-opened Meydan Racecourse worked its way into the reckoning as it set up screens and popular VIP areas for live games.

Far from suffering from empty seats a la Johannesburg, the different locations were at full capacity for most of the games, proving that the companies that invest the most in impressive venues are likely to see the most action in 2014.

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