The MTN stake in the 2010 FIFA World Cup extends beyond the more than R7 billion it has invested in network upgrades, and encompasses innovative products and solutions, and creative marketing initiatives aimed at instilling the spirit of Ayobaness in all its customers.
As part of its global sponsorship of the event, MTN has the exclusive mobile content rights to the 2010 FIFA World Cup for Africa and the Middle East that will allow those not fortunate enough to attend the matches live, to catch them on their cellphones through the MTN Play portal.
“There will be various gaming offerings for our customers including FIFA fantasy predictors, music tracks and wallpapers, as well as core FIFA tournament products such as team and player information and updates. Furthermore, there will be highlights available for download from MTN Play for those fans who want to relive their favourite football moments,” says Serame Taukobong, chief marketing officer of MTN South Africa.
MTN also has the exclusive rights to the Sony Ericsson W205 walkman phone. It comes pre-loaded with FIFA screensavers, wallpapers and themes as well as the FIFA 2009 soundtrack. There are also FIFA ring tones, the FIFA 2009 game and a silkscreen printed back cover on offer.
“We are also promoting Zakumi wallpaper, screensavers and themes on the Sony Ericsson W205 to give fans a true soccer experience on their handsets,” says Taukobong.
The recently launched MTN Compass location-based service is an innovative solution that lets customers find points of interest (POI) closest to where they currently are, using either their cellphone or the Internet. The service provides location information and directions for a range of POI categories from which to choose, including World Cup stadia, local weather information, fast food outlets, nearby shopping malls, petrol stations, accommodation, and more.
The MTN Compass service is available to all current MTN customers (contract, TopUp or PayAsYouGo). There is no monthly subscription fee and customers will be charged a service fee (21c per 20 seconds) and content cost (R1.00) only.
“This service is quick and easy to use and will literally deliver the information you are looking for, such as where your nearest MTN Fan Zone is, at your fingertips,” says Taukobong.
“The MTN Fan Zones (at Montecasino, in Johannesburg and the V&A Waterfront, in Cape Town) will be the place for fans, friends and family to gather when they don't have tickets to watch a match live. These two venues will be transformed into soccer stadiums and promise to give football fans a true Ayoba experience.”
Additionally, MTN has partnered with FIFA to give South African and international fans a taste of football fever if they don't have tickets to a particular match. They will have the opportunity to watch games at FIFA Fan Fest venues set up in the host cities - two in Gauteng and one each in the other eight provinces.
“The success of the Fan Fests in Germany in 2006 prompted FIFA to include this initiative in its South African marketing strategy. MTN elected to partner with FIFA as one of the sponsors in this venture as part of its World Cup plans to give as many South Africans as possible a world-class football experience,” says Taukobong.
The three MTN mobile interactive entertainment gig rigs, known as K'yoze Kuyovalwa, will be travelling around the country to keep the crowds amused before the matches at the stadiums, and at other select venues throughout the country.
Leveraging its partnership with one of South Africa's leading sports journalists, Graeme Joffe, the 20 MTN eKasi TV sites around the country will be used to screen matches and create a festival environment for the local communities. Some of the sites include Ivory Park, Diepsloot, Lenasia, Soweto, Makushane in Phalaborwa, Mhluzi in Middelburg, Kathlehong, Tembisa, and Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal.
The MTN Ayoba summer campaign, which launched in October last year, capitalised on its World Cup sponsorship with the announcement of a prize that money cannot buy – 10 Golden Tickets for 10 lucky winners and their partners to attend 25 matches around the country, all expenses paid.
“In addition to the 10 Golden Tickets, the MTN8 knockout tournament last season also had a strong World Cup focus, with the introduction of the Last Fan Standing competition,” says Taukobong.
The lucky winner, Thulani Ngcobo, will attempt to make World Cup history and set a new Guinness World Record when he is whisked around the country, covering a distance of 17 000km, to attend 38 matches in the tournament - a feat never before attempted.
For local football fans, there is also the innovative Last Minute Ticket initiative. MTN will make available some tickets just 48 hours before a match kicks off, to provide lucky fans with the experience of a lifetime by attending a World Cup match live.
All that fans have to do is be present at any one of the 10 FIFA Fan Fests or at one of the two MTN Fan Zones in Johannesburg or Cape Town on the day of a game in that area, to stand a chance to win.
“This is our way of giving those fans without tickets the opportunity to enjoy the live stadium experience at a stage when tickets will simply no longer be available,” says Taukobong.
This MTN promotion kicks off with the opening game on 11 June in the format of an SMS competition. Winners will be drawn at each venue just prior to kick-off and these winners, together with their partners, will be able to attend the live game, scheduled for that day, in the area of where they find themselves at that moment. A special luxury transfer to the stadium will also be provided for the lucky ticket winners, by Neo Africa. All SMS competition numbers will be published for participation at each location separately.
All entries from the start of the MTN Last Minute Ticket promotion will go through to a final lucky draw on 7 July, where one Ayoba winner will get tickets to attend the final match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup at Soccer City on 11 July.
This final winner will not only win a set of double tickets to the grand finale, compliments of MTN, but can also look forward to being transported to the stadium in true VIP style, again provided by Neo Africa.
“All told, the 2010 FIFA World Cup is going to be an event that will launch South Africa and Africa into the hearts and minds of the world. All eyes will be on South Africa in June and July to witness how we will make this the best World Cup yet. MTN is proud to be a global sponsor of this huge event and we cannot wait for the opening whistle to kick off the experience. It's Ayoba time!” concludes Taukobong.