Editor’s note: Nancy Lazarus is a consultant and new contributor to PRNewser. Her professional background is in research and writing. Most recently she worked at Nielsen Business Media on their media, entertainment, travel and design brands, including the company’s magazines, websites, events and trade shows.
Before that she worked at Ketchum on various accounts from major consumer products companies to internet start-ups. Given her affinity for travel, her first posts for PRNewser are from The New York Times Travel Show, which took place this past weekend.
Now that the Winter Olympics is over, the next major sports event to capture the world spotlight is World Cup soccer, to be hosted by South Africa from mid June to mid July. Judging by the standing room only audience at its presentation this past weekend at The New York Times Travel Show, and the crowd at its exhibit booth, it appears that excitement is already mounting.
With the theme ‘Ke Nako,’ translated as “Now is the Time,” South African Tourism has embraced that call to action by offering various PR programs and partnerships in the U.S.
Diski Dance is a tactical campaign showing the country’s energetic spirit and rhythm. Aimed at youth and adult soccer enthusiasts, it was launched in two phases in the U.S., both involving a viral video web dance competition. Contest participants were invited to upload videos of their soccer team or themselves performing Diski Dance, which are soccer-themed dance moves such as leg kicks and head butts.
The Diski Dance contest for youth soccer teams, both boys and girls, began last summer. The contest quickly became popular on YouTube. In January the Fusion 97 girls’ team from Falls Church, Virginia won a trip to South Africa in March. The second phase launched in early 2010 for adults. Matt Harding, the guy who dances his way around the world, is promoting the campaign, and the prize is a trip for two to World Cup soccer.
1 Goal, an initiative introduced in October focusing on education, involves FIFA, the World Cup organization, and world leaders. Its objective is to raise funds from government aid and individual donations to improve education in poorer countries worldwide. By rallying support now, the goal is for education to be World Cup’s legacy.
“Invictus,” the movie that debuted in the U.S. in December, depicts the story of President Nelson Mandela and his support of the struggling South African rugby team. The movie was jointly promoted by a partnership between South African Tourism, Warner Brothers Pictures, media companies and tour operator offering trips there.
Shout Out is a destination campaign to raise awareness of South Africa that launched last week. Celebrities and travelers are being enlisted to promote the country and their favorite locales by word of mouth. By posting their Shout Out on the program’s website, they’ll be entered to win a trip to South Africa.
Attending the soccer matches in South Africa represents a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Still, the PR challenge has been convincing overseas visitors to come despite high expenses, safety and security issues. (For example, an online search using the words ‘Shout Out South Africa’ also turned up results for ‘shootouts’ there.)
Despite these obstacles, the publicity efforts appear to have been effective based on World Cup soccer sales to date. According to Sthu Zungu, President of South African Tourism, “U.S. ticket sales have outpaced the sales of all the other supposedly soccer-loving nations.”
More about the author:
Nancy Lazarus is a consultant and new contributor to PRNewser. Her professional background is in research and writing.
Most recently she worked at Nielsen Business Media on their media, entertainment, travel and design brands, including the magazines, websites, events and trade shows.
Before that she worked at Ketchum on various accounts from major consumer products companies to internet start-ups. She was involved in new business pitches and conducted surveys that were used for client campaigns.
Nancy has also written several research and travel related articles for marketing, travel and entertainment trade publications and websites. Her byline has appeared in Marketing News, Travel Weekly, Incentive, Incentivemag.com, Successful Meetings, MeetingNews, mimegasite.com, Sales & Marketing Management and THR.com.
Her educational background is in international affairs and she spent a year living in France and Switzerland.