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World Cup 2014: Benefits of participating in FIFA Cup

Brazil 2014 World Cup

Brazil 2014 World Cup

THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC BENEFIT OF GHANA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2014 BRAZIL FIFA WORLD CUP

A paper delivered by Mr. Magnus RexDanquah at a seminar organized by the Play Soccer Ghana, Oguaa FIFA Football For Hope Centre in partnership with the Department of Health, Physical Education & Recreation of the University of Cape Coast on Friday, 4th April, 2014 at the School of Medical Sciences Auditorium, UCC

Chairman and Director of Sports, University of Ghana;

Senior Nana Sam Brew-Butler, Chairman of Cape Coast Football For Hope Centre;

Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Cape Coast;

Head of Department of the Health, Physical Education & Recreation (HPER), University of Cape Coast;

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media;

0.0      Introduction

 0.1      THE VALUE OF THE FIFA WORLD CUP BRAND & PARTNERSHIPS

The FIFA World Cup is, arguably, the world’s greatest single sports event and therefore a very valuable commercial property. FIFA has therefore established a closely controlled marketing programme for the protection of their commercial partners, who give the event its financial support in return for a package of marketing rights.

There are various levels of commercial partnership, with each of these commercial partners having total exclusivity within its respective product and or service category.

0.2      SPONSORS FOR 2014 WORLD CUP

The sponsors for the Brazil 2014 World Cup include FIFA Partners – Adidas, Coca Cola, Hyundai & KIA, Emirates Air, Sony and Visa Card – their relationship goes beyond the World Cup into other areas; whilst Budweiser, Continental, Castrol, McDonalds, Johnson & Johnson, May Park, Oi and Yingli – as FIFA World Cup Sponsors; whilst the national supporters are FIFA.com, Apex Brasil, Centauro, Garoto, Itaú, Liberty, Wise Up, and Football For Hope. The Trophy Tour is the preserve of Coca Cola.

The use of appellations such as ‘Official Sponsor’, ‘Official Supplier’, ‘Partner’, ‘Product / Service’, and ‘Licensee’ in connection with the FIFA World Cup is strictly limited to the official partners.

0.3      RESTRICTIONS

Such restrictions also apply to the use or adaptation of the official logo of Brazil 2014 and of FIFA, to the official mascot of Brazil 2014 and to the image of the FIFA World Cup trophy, as well as to designations such as “FIFA World Cup”, “World Cup Team”, “Brazil 2014” and others, also in other languages. The FIFA Fair Play logo also falls under these restrictions.

At the same time, certain advertising restrictions are imposed under FIFA’s contract with the international television consortium.

In all cases, restrictions are enforced in order to ensure the long-term continuity of FIFA’s sponsorship programme, which in turn guarantees the economic basis for this and future editions of the World Cup. It is therefore not only legally essential, but also in the interests of football as a whole, that these commercial regulations are always respected.

0.4      NATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS OR PARTICIPATING NATIONS

FIFA also recognizes that the national associations have commercial partners of their own, and effort is made to permit their presence in a controlled manner during the World Cup finals. However, the status of national team sponsors does not give such companies any right to associate themselves in any way with the World Cup itself, with the official logos and mascots, or with FIFA.

However, there are no restrictions regarding advertising on players’ equipment during training sessions on non-match days, either at the teams’ own training-ground or in the World Cup stadium.

Furthermore, it is expressly forbidden, under FIFA Statutes, for any members of team official delegations to make any form of political or religious statement, by whatever means, in any part of the entire stadium area at any time. It is similarly forbidden for delegations to encourage fans or other non-official persons to attempt to make such statements.

0.5      TRAINING GROUNDS & ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES

It must be noted that whilst advertising in the Brazil 2014 stadia is strictly reserved for the official sponsors of the FIFA World Cup; and at the official training-grounds used by the teams during the official period of the World Cup reserved for the official partners; the finalist national associations are free to conclude agreements, as they may wish, with owners or authorities of grounds used for training before the official period i.e. 5 days before the first match. However, during their training sessions, the players’ clothing may display the national teams’ sponsors.

0.6      ARRANGED CAMPS & UNOFFICIAL TRAINING PERIODS

It must also be noted that camps arranged by the associations of their own accord in other grounds during the unofficial training period (i.e. six days or more before the teams’ first match) to acclimatize and train for the World Cup are not affected by these restrictions. During this unofficial training period, the owners of the grounds are free to display advertising of their choice in their grounds, and national associations may, with the agreement of the training ground owners and the 2014 Brazil LOC, also display their own advertisements in the grounds.

0.7      NATIONAL TEAMS’ SPONSORS & PRESS CONFERENCES

Again, national team sponsors may also be promoted at press conferences held by teams in their hotels or in other areas which the associations may have organised, at its cost, for media or public relations activities.

0.8      NATIONAL TEAMS’ SPONSORS & PROHIBITION FROM LINKAGES

It must be stressed also that national teams’ sponsors are prohibited from being linked in any way with the FIFA World Cup, Brazil 2014 before, during or after the final competition. National Teams’ sponsors may claim distinct and exclusive connections with a certain team, say Ghana Black Stars, but not with the FIFA World Cup, Brazil 2014.

0.9      APPRECIATION OF BACKGROUND

Certainly, there are a number of restrictions associated with participation of any nation in the FIFA World Cup, Brazil 2014 inclusive.

Mr. Chairman, it is important for me to state all these, because we would have a better appreciation of the cost-benefit analysis of Ghana’s participation in any major sporting event from such a context; and even more so for us as a nation to re-think how we assess our overall participations in such events in future, if we are maximize the socio-economic benefits that accrue to us as a people outside football as we piggy-back.

1.0            Business Opportunities

The platform provided by Ghana’s appearance at the 2014 Brazil World Cup should be seen more by the bigger picture of overall national aspirations and goals, and that is, how can we harness the accruing socio-economic benefits as well as opportunities to not only grow local businesses but also enhance the Ghana brand.

1.1         MERCHANDISING & LICENSING RIGHTS: BLACK STARS & FIFA

 

Industry analysts estimate the value of the global market for sales of licensed merchandise to be in excess of US$170 billion per year and sports accounts for about 11% of the global market. For sports rights owners of all sizes, licensing and merchandising (L&M) is an essential part of the business mix, both producing revenue and re-enforcing the sense of fan identity and belonging.

 

L&M is one of the most powerful contemporary forms of marketing and brand extension available to brand owners, including Ghana, today.

 

Sports rights owners face a raft of issues from accessing new and developing markets to establishing the limits of brand extension; and from maximizing retail performance to fulfilling the ever growing potential of new media.

 

Thus, L&M in the context of the 2014 Brazil World Cup should be seen not just in terms of realizing new revenue opportunities, but on how to use both to take one’s brand to the consumer.

 

There are two clear opportunities for licensing and merchandising. The first as always is with the Black Stars / Ghana: here the major interest will be the sale of flags in Brazil in addition to replica PUMA shirts and jerseys.

 

I am not too sure which state institution is responsible for who should have the rights to produce and sell Ghana flags, either in the country or outside? This is one area where those involved will have a field day, maybe for local, small Ghanaian businesses.

 

This will not be the case with the Black Stars over the sale of replica jerseys. The official kit sponsor of the team is PUMA, and until it nominates a Licensee, it will be handling all replica jerseys, within the FIFA restrictions. Again, with Brazil’s strict anti-ambush marketing laws, anybody who will attempt to cash in on this business will definitely face the full rigors of the law. There is the possibility of business for a PUMA Licensee to secure the rights to exclusively market and distribute the team’s replicas, both in Ghana and Brazil.

 

It is also important to note that, no replicas intended for commercial use (such as players’ shirts for fans – replicas) may bear the legally protected official emblem, mascot or trophy unless permission has previously been granted by the rights holders, FIFA. Under no circumstances may players’ shirts intended for sale to fans bear the competition designation, FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL 2014.

 

The beauty of the Brazil expectations is that FIFA itself will be building on the successes of South Africa 2010 to market its range of apparel, accessories and footballs in Africa, including Ghana through sub-licensees across the continent. This is a fine opportunity for a local distributor, wholesaler and or retailer to make business and grow revenues in Ghana.

 

1.2            TV & RADIO LIVE TELECASTS

 

There are certain restrictions imposed under FIFA’s contract with the international television consortium in Ghana handling the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica ending tomorrow, 5th April, 2014, the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup – 12th June to 13th July, 2014, and the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada from 5th to 24th August, 2014 i.e. GTV, Metro TV, e.TV, Net 2 TV and First Digital TV and with Optimum Media Prime (OMP), the exclusive marketing agency.

 

For me, my heart is gladdened by an experiment which was initiated during the 26th Africa Cup of Nations, Ghana 2008 Championship when the opportunity was offered to all TV networks in the country to form a consortium to be able to carry the entire tournament live and earn some additional revenue.

 

This undoubtedly has advised the current understanding of Ghana TV Consortium and its previous success with the South Africa 2010 World Cup of GTV, Metro TV and TV3; handling the TV, Radio, Video Screen, Video Centres, Public Centres and internet broadcast rights for the FIFA / Africa Union Broadcast (AUB) official media rights owners of all FIFA events to be telecast live / delayed in Ghana, covering the three already mentioned.

 

The rights of the Ghana TV Consortium include:-

 

1.2.1    Radio Free-to-Air rights in Ghana for Off-Tube commentary in all languages;

1.2.2    Non-exclusive large TV / Video Screen Projection in Ghana, i.e. any use of the listed tournaments free-to-air TV signal in Ghana for commercial or promotional purposes through:-

1.2.2.1         Video screen projection, or large TV screen in any enclosed halls such as auditoriums, conference halls & centres, theatres in Ghana; and

1.2.2.2         The use of video screen projection, or large TV screens, in any outdoor venues such as Public Centres, Parks, Regional Centres, Cultural Centres, Mass Bars / Restaurants promotions in Ghana.

 

It is important to emphasize that it is therefore illegal and an offense for anybody to use free-to-air TV signal of the “FIFA World Cup Events” without the requisite consents, or access fee, be it for free, promotional or commercial use.

 

1.3            FAN ZONES & PUBLIC VIEWING

 

Now the issue of Fan Zones and Public Viewing in Ghana is clear: it is illegal, unless it is with the requisite consents or access fee payments. Prospective sponsors of such enterprises should insist on the requisite consents before participating in such events.

 

1.4            CORPORATE HOSPITALITY’S FRANCHISE

 

The license for corporate hospitality for the 2014 Brazil World Cup has been secured by a company and it is important that all institutions desirous of acquiring corporate seating, engages this company, especially those who would want to use the event to reward loyal customers and employees.

 

I would want to believe that this company could also offer other incidental services to facilitate any package desired by any Ghanaian company.

 

Personally, considering the hazards of the business of securing tickets in confined same area (s) to accommodate a number of customers or staff, it is prudent to engage the services of licensees for such exercise.

 

2.0            Brand Ghana

 

Brand Ghana, to me, is the sum total of all the attributes that are symbolized in the title ‘Ghanaian’, acquired over the ages from the Songhai Empire with migration to our present location.

History has it that it was Mari Djata, the King of Mali who defeated the Kingdom of Ghana in Western Sudan in the year 1076. As a result, many of the conquered people fled southwards and eventually, it is believed, reached as far as Ashanti and the coastal plains of the Gold Coast. Of this the prevailing theory links the Akan people of the present Ghana, by direct descent, with the people of the great Kingdom of Ghana, which flourished in the old Ghana more than a thousand years ago.

Thus, the brand should by all imagination encompass all our achievements as a people and individual exploits in whatever field of endeavour; our collective and individual failures; our culture; our music; our way of life; our languages; our hospitality; our politics; our leadership; our religions; people’s perceptions of who and what we are; as well as our hurts and emotions.

For me, the exploits of our sportsmen and women from the period of Gold Coast, pre-independence to date from Mike Ahey, Alice Anum, Floyd Robertson, Joe Tetteh, Azumah Nelson, D. K. Poison, the Black Stars Team that held Real Madrid F/C to a pulsating 3-3 draw, C. K. Gyamfi, Osei Kofi, Aggrey Fynn, Edward Acquah, Abedi Pele Ayew, ‘Abetifi Mustang’, Mohammed Polo and many others not mentioned have all helped by their exploits in the field of sports to add value to the brand GHANA; and currently we could easily see for ourselves the value added by our exploits at the 2006 Germany and 2010 South Africa World Cup performances as well as winning the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Egypt in 2009. Our performance at the Costa Rica 2014 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup is also a case in point,

Outside sports, we can look at such personalities as Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, whose centenary we have celebrated this year, Kofi Annan, Alex Quaison-Sackey, Dr. Robert Gardiner, Emmanuel Amoako of the ECA, Archbishop Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, and Prof. Francis Allotey, who have all also added value to the brand GHANA by their exploits of international dimensions.

The 2014 World Cup Platform in Brazil therefore is yet another opportunity for the Black Stars to once again add to the Ghana brand, just as the exploits of our footballers in Europe and across the globe have enhanced same. What we have failed to appreciate as a people over the years has been the real worth of such exploits to the nation? In much simpler times how much is MNET making from annul DSTV subscriptions from all of us who wish to watch our stars every week play?

What the key assignment is for me and all of us, is how to manage the performance of Ghana’s third appearance at the Brazil 2014 World Cup to further achieve part of the goals for the setting up of the Brand GHANA Secretariat and for all the reasons that in the past decade or two, we have all been so conscious of branding and the need to re-position this brand.

 

There cannot be a better platform and timing for us as a people than the Brazil 2014 World Cup, an instant and willing TV audience of over 45 billion cumulative, 208 countries: what more can we ask?

The onus is on all of us, not just the Ghana Football Association (GFA), the Ministry of Youth and Sports or the Government but most importantly, Corporate Ghana – the ultimate beneficiary of all these brand enhancements to reach forth and support this enterprise to maximize the diverse and multiple benefits therefrom.

3.0            Trade & Investment Roadshows

 

One of the major benefits to accrue to Corporate Ghana, through piggy-backing on Ghana’s third appearance at Brazil 2014 World Cup is through the hosting and organisation of trade and investment roadshows in the city or cities that the team will be based for the period of the tournament.

If what happened at Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010 World Cups is any indicator of what we should expect then there will be an influx of mass of people of all nationalities, officials and guests of both FIFA and CAF following the exploits of the team, and most importantly the world media to capture all scenes related to Ghana for global audience.

There will also be greater influx of the following nationalities – Germany, USA and Portugal in the first instance at the group stages and then from Belgium, Algeria, Russia and Korea Republic – our next possible opposing team to play against if we qualify for the next stage of the competition; and a much greater number of countries, comprising the rest of the 32 nations participating in this competition.

Thus, any utilization of this platform will offer us more than a unique platform to showcase not only brand GHANA but also optimize the exposure to be offered for the following activities:-

3.1      Traditional Ghanaian Cuisine / Food, Cultural & Musical Expo

 

It will be important that for the period of Ghana’s participation in the 2014 World Cup, we are able to host and organise a Traditional Ghanaian Cuisine / Food, Cultural & Musical Expo to showcase this part of our life or brand to the world in conjunction with the Ghana Embassy in Brazil.

It should be possible for the Ministry of Youth and Sports to coordinate this programme with the various stakeholders involved, including the MUSIGA, the National Commission of Culture, the Traditional Caterers Association and the Ministry of Chieftaincy.

It should again be possible for this expo to include a session on Arts & Crafts, Textiles, Beads and Jewelry that reflect the depth and diversity of our cultural industries to the world, and I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that we could earn a sizeable foreign exchange from the influx of international supporters who will follow the exploits of the team as well as from curious Brazilians and other nationalities from our group.

3.2      Showcasing Ghana’s Tourism & Sports Tourism Potentials

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Creative Arts, the Ghana Tourist Authority, the Museums & Monuments Board, the Ghana Hoteliers Association, the Ghana Travel & Tours Association, and the Ghana Tour Guides Association should be able to coordinate an exposition that will showcase Ghana’s tourism potentials in the host city / cities of the Black Stars with various packages, well-documented and supported with colourful brochures.

Again, this is the opportunity for the National Sports Authority and the Ghana Tourist Authority to present Ghana as Africa’s preferred sports events destination to the world, following our successful hosting and organisation of the following events:-

 

3.2.1  The 11th African Youth Football Championship, Ghana ’99;

3.2.2  The 22nd Africa Cup of Nations, Ghana 2000 Football Championship;

3.2.3  The 26th MTN Africa Cup of Nations, Ghana 2008 Football Championship; and

3.2.4  The 9th AfHF Hockey Africa Cup for Nations, Ghana 2009 Championship.

There cannot be any better platform than the Brazil 2014 World Cup to showcase all the sporting facilities we have acquired through these events to buttress our position as one of the leaders for Sports Tourism in Africa. Unfortunately, we will have to deal with the issue of poor maintenance of our sporting facilities in the interim.

Maybe, this should be the beginning of a closer collaboration between the Ghana Tourist Authority, the National Sports Authority, the Ghana Football Association (GFA), and the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) to promote domestic tourism through the various football leagues in the country.

3.3      Trade & Investment Exposition

Our drive to promote trade and investment in the country, I am confident will be boosted by a concerted effort by all stakeholders to join the train of GHANA FOR BRZIL 2014 with a joint Trade & Investment Exposition at the host city / cities of the Black Stars.

I am looking at the possibility of the showcase including segments for our Oil & Gas Opportunities, Ghana Chocolate Fair, and Mining – looking at the quantum of current growing Brazilian interests in the country.

It will thus be critical for the Ministry of Trade & Industry, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GNCCI), the Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB) and the Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC) amongst others to manage this for maximum effect.

I would also wish to challenge some metropolitan assemblies to use the platform offered by the World Cup to tag along and promote their areas as well.

3.4      Attracting Brazilian Investors

Recently, the Ghana World Trade Centre undertook a successful business trip to Brazil and this is to be applauded.

I am, however persuaded that using the platform of the 2014 World Cup to showcase the various investment packages and opportunities available in the country, would re-position the GIPC to the new realization of the uniqueness of the international football platform for such enterprise.

It will critical for the GIPC to join the GHANA FOR BRAZIL 2014 in collaboration with Brand GHANA Secretariat to synchronize and manage the entire campaign effectively and efficiently in order to optimize the returns that would accrue to us as a nation and people.

Most importantly, I would relish the possibility of say, the New Times Corporation, the Graphic Communications Group    and other private media houses running special editions of their publication, either daily or weekly for distribution in Brazil at the team’s host city / cities during the tournament as part of this special campaign. This will also afford the world to see the extent of the development and growth of our media.

 

4.0            Supporters

 

Currently, there are a number of supporters groups operating in the country, including the Nationwide Supporters Union (NSU), and the Millennium Supporters Union (MUSUGA) – all desiring to go to Brazil to support the Black Stars.

Considering all the restrictions that the FIFA World Cup brand places on a number of possibilities, it would be prudent that in sourcing for sponsorship to make the trip, advice is sought from the requisite authorities so that none falls foul of the FIFA anti-ambush marketing drive against wear for the various stadia for mass of supporters.

4.1      Advisory Services For Supporters

In this regard, finalist national associations, including the GFA, are strongly urged to set up organised centres in Brazil to which supporters may congregate between their team’s matches.

I want to believe also that the Brazil Embassy will set up an advisory service in the country to provide supporters with information on their laws, codes of behaviour and local customs.

4.2      Brazilian Companies Operating In Ghana & Social Responsibilities

The 2014 Brazil World Cup is a fine opportunity for Brazilian companies operating in the country to be at their corporate best and budget for the tournament to cater for support for the Black Stars as well as loyal customers and staff, under corporate social responsibility for the 2014 financial year.

However, please permit me to add this: I have never been in favour of national resources being used to sponsor supporters, who are supposed to be patriotic like all of us to Brazil to go and watch matches as well as support the team, especially where the perception is that it is a way to reward constituency officers of the ruling party for possible past support during last elections or future at the next elections in 2016? My candid opinion is to support the Ministry of Youth and Sports initiative to appeal to corporate Ghana to provide the requisite finance for such enterprise. Maybe, we should have allowed the Supporters groups themselves to source for the sponsorship with the backing of the Ministry. Whichever approach is definitely better than using state resources to fund their trip.

 

5.0            Re-Defining The Cost Of Ghana’s Participation To The Nation

 

The Minister of Youth and Sports at the last Meet-The-Press, when he took his turn, gave the cost of Ghana’s participation in the Brazil 2014 World Cup as GH¢24,677,025.00 (twenty-four million, six hundred and seventy-seven thousand, twenty-five Ghana Cedis) only being the Ghana Cedi equivalent of US$9,870,810.00 (nine million, eight hundred and seventy thousand, eight hundred and ten US Dollars), with GH¢10,500,000.00 earmarked for the group stages, with the balance of GH¢14,177,025.00 being budgeted to cover the team’s expenses when they qualify for subsequent stages of the competition.

 

5.1            REAL COST OF GHANA’S PARTICIPATION TO INCLUDE QUALIFYING SERIES IN AFRICA’S ZONES

 

Ladies and gentlemen, that is not the true state of the cost of Ghana’s participation in the 2014 Brazil World Cup: what the Minister forgot to tell us was how much was spent for the qualifying series, when Ghana played six (6) group stage matches before the play-off with Egypt for us to finally qualify for Brazil. It is when we have that can we truly determine how financially rewarding in money terms it will be for us? If one even does GH¢1,000,000.00 conservative per match, for the total eight (8) matches, that will be an additional GH¢8,000,000.00 (eight million Ghana Cedis) to the GH¢24,677,025.00 to bring the total to GH¢32,677,025.00 and with other scouting trips during the qualifying series, I would put the real cost to us to GH¢35,000,000.00 (thirty-five million Ghana Cedis) conservative.

 

5.2            THE PARADOX OF PLAYERS’ BONUSES & A NATION’S SENSE OF APPRECIATION

 

One issue which has distracting all the preparations has been the issue of the bonuses to the Black Stars. I see it as a paradox of a nation’s sense of appreciation: how much do we pay our politicians when they are complete their terms of office – cars, houses they buy very cheap, ex-gratia awards of mind-boggling proportions? How much do our MPs receive after each term of office, every 4 years? How do we pay off corporate heads, who are sometimes ‘politicians’ in disguise, hundreds of thousands of Ghana Cedis as end-of-service awards? How much do churches raise to see-off pastors on retirement? I could stretch the argument to all dimensions but this is not to question the rationale of any of the examples except to make it easier for us to have a certain sense of appreciation for GOOD WORK done in this country by anybody.

Thus, the Black Stars players deserve the bonuses, simple and short.

Those of us who worked on the 26th Africa Cup of Nations, Ghana 2008 were most unfortunate not to have people speak for us, so we were not paid and have still not been paid any end-of-service benefits nor bonuses for all the work we put into making the event one of the most memorable in the history of the AFCON. As a nation, we need to show appreciation no matter who is involved, his political colour, if any, notwithstanding.

5.3            THREAT OF AMBUSH MARKETING OR AMBUSH ADVERTISING BY CORPORATE NON-SPONSORS OF THE BLACK STARS / GFA ASSETS

Recently, the GFA had to issue a press statement warning off companies who suddenly want to be seen to praising the Black Stars with various full-page, sometimes colour adverts for qualifying for the 2014 World Cup – this ambush marketing or better still ambush advertising of the highest order: reaping where you haven’t sown, especially those who would even use pictures of the team incorporated into the design layout. This is wrong and sue-able by the GFA, if they so desire. Companies should desist from this henceforth because it is most unethical.

(Bank example during the 26th AFCON)

6.0            Socio-Economic Benefits

Now finally to why I guess I was invited here in more direct terms.

There are a number of socio-economic benefits that will accrue, and some have already started accruing already to us as a people, our nation, our football and our sports, please permit me to add quite a number are intangibles even though quantifiable.

6.1            UNITY OF A POLARIZED NATION & LOOKING BEYOND THE WORLD CUP TO LOCAL FOOTBALL LEAGUES & NEED FOR MINISTRY TO ENGAGE GFA ON POSSIBLE NEW ALL-EMBRACING NATIONAL FORMAT

One of the critical intangibles is the platform our participation offers us to unify a highly polarized nation during the tournament: ‘FLY THE FLAG’ during previous world cup campaigns. This was more manifest when we hosted the 26th AFCON, when consistently during the event, churches could be filled up with everybody including pastors wearing one branded AFCON 2008 Ghana T-Shirts, headgears,  and various tops.

Believe, what is important is to see beyond the World Cup to how we could leverage this event to address even our local league, to endeavour to use it a s a vehicle to promote greater unity and cohesion. To this end, the Ministry could engage the GFA to start a truly all-embracing national premier league, where representatives of all regions participate than what we have currently of limited to few regions.

6.2            GLOBAL EXPOSURE’S OPPORTUNITY COST

One thing we always take for granted is the FREE ADVERTISEMENTS provided Ghana by our participation in the World Cup, where all the major networks will pitch camp at both Osu Oxford Street and Kwame Nkrumah Circle to run magazine programmes on the country, through showcasing the various Fan Zones. This will run every day for as long as we stay in the tournament and most times over 3 hours a day of global exposure.

This is how much we gain: a 30-seconds TV commercial on such networks as CNN, Sky, BBC, Fox, and ESPN will range between US$20,000.00 to US$150,000.00 per insertion. Thus for an hour exposure in any day, what we will not pay is a bill for between US$2,400,000.00 to US$18,000,000.00.

For three hours a day, we could multiply by same and then by the number of days we still stay in the competition, multiplied by the number of networks who showcase Ghana accordingly. This definitely amounts to huge sums that add up to the intangible benefits of our participation in the world cup.

6.3            ENHANCING TRADE RELATIONS WITH COMPETING NATIONS

For the group stages, what will be on show will be Ghana’s relationships with Germany, Portugal and USA.

Take the matches out of the football area and one would have clearer sense of what the world cup holds for strengthening the existing relationships with the three nations; and possibly a fourth in the next of Belgium, Algeria, Russia and Korea Republic; and then who we next till we reach the finals.

This is what we need to showcase and we could do joint events in Brazil with these countries in the cities where our matches will be played. The benefits of such enterprise could be as diverse and rewarding as we would want them to be.

6.4            DICHOTOMIES OF NEGATIVE PRODUCTIVITY DURING LIVE TELECASTS & DANGERS OF WINNING MATCHES VIS-À-VIS POSSIBLE ROAD ACCIDENTS & INCREASED DRUNKENNESS AMONGST OUR PEOPLE

One fear which heads of institutions and ministries have is the impact of the live telecasts of Ghana’s matches particularly and the rest of the world cup tournament has on productivity – NEGATIVE. Most of the working population is not productive during such major football events and I cannot proffer any solution though for now but definitely takes away from the benefits.

Then there is the canker of over-speeding and drunken driving, both associated with Ghana’s winning matches and which could lead to possible loss of lives. These have costs both in terms of the dead and the economics of accidents.

6.5            USE OF PROCEEDS FROM WORLD CUP FOR SPORTS DEVELOPMENT

The Minister of Youth and Sports at his said turn at the Meet-The-Press series enumerated a number of projects that the prize monies that will accrue to the nation from the World Cup will be applied, including:-

(a)              Boxing Gym at Bukom;

(b)             Construction of a 5-star hotel facility at the Ghanaman Soccer Centre for Excellence at Prampram;

(c)              Development of soccer in the country at the colts level;

(d)             Rehabilitation and upgrading of hostel facilities at the Azumah Nelson Youth and Sports Centre, Kaneshie for camping other national teams; and

(e)              Development of other sporting disciplines including Athletics, Boxing, Volleyball and Basketball.

Laudable but just pray we go far in the competition, possibly the semi-finals this time round and may be further into the finals so we make more money to do more things, only on the condition that we are able to maintain them better after construction or rehabilitation.

6.6            THE PRINCIPLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS

The whole of the issue of socio-economic benefits is premised on the principle of the ten virgins in the Good Book i.e. they will only materialize if and only if (iff) we are well-prepared, well-planned in the approaches, with the extra oil purchased to take advantage of the situation – then we can benefit. Otherwise like the other five virgins who did not anticipate the changes in arrival time of the bridegroom, we will not be ready and therefore see the end of the World Cup 2014 Brazil and still be at ground zero.

6.7            NEED FOR ECONOMIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF SPORTS ON THE ECONOMY

Seriously, on this whole business of Sports for Development, we would only make the desired impact when as a nation and people, we take ONE required basic step; that of an economic impact assessment of sports on the economy of Ghana; professionally executed for policy makers and governments to appreciate the need for a paradigm shift and new mindsets. Without this, we will continue to think of sports development in the same old mentality – and that is, sports is for school dropouts.

7.0            Conclusion

First, permit me to admit that I lack the finesse, expertise and even the courage to do justice to the topic: that is why I opted for the easy way out with an overview, just thoughts of how I think we should as a people look at Ghana’s third appearance at the World Cup, Brazil 2014 and what socio-economic benefits are derivable.

I have always held the view that football offers us more than just enjoying a passion that binds us more as a nation during moments of international exploits of our national teams. I believe, granted the opportunity, we will begin to see and appreciate the other immense possibilities that such events as the World Cup offer us to enhance the brand Ghana and grow our businesses locally.

My presence here has not only strengthened my resolve that we are only a few metres from the threshold of appreciating the magnitude of the socio-economic benefits that we stand to gain as a nation, participating in the World Cup and what we have been missing in the years before 2006; but also what value the World Cup could add to Brand Ghana and everything Ghana.

I want to thank you, most sincerely for not only inviting me but also listening to me and pray that you are not disappointed in any way but rather enjoyed the topic.

Thank you and God bless our homeland Ghana.

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