When the Sun Shines, Play Ball

Wow, what an exciting time to be in South Africa.  The months leading into the South African winter are normally fairly quiet and ‘business as usual’ – 2009 has certainly had a few surprises.

The World Cup ‘dress-rehearsal’ or Confederations Cup took place during June, at the same time the Lions Rugby Tour brought approximately 100 000 visitors to our shores for the six-week duration of the tour, all this was on the back of a very successful Cricket Indian Premier League.

At the same time global political, business and social leaders converged on Cape Town to participate in the World Economic Forum (WEF) and, of course, South Africa’s fourth democratic elections were held peacefully and without a hitch.  South Africa once again showed our ability to host global events in an organized, systematic and safe manner.

The FH team played its part by delving into the world of political communications, assisting the newly formed Congress of the People or COPE with their external communications leading up to the elections, our newly signed equity agreement with CIDA is allowing FH to participate and target business that was previously ‘out of bounds’.

The agency’s FNB and Visa teams implemented extensive World Cup sponsor plans, working virtually 24/7 for over a month leading up to and including the Confederations Cup.  Traffic to our shine2010.co.za website, the home of the World Cup good news, virtually doubled during the tournament.

FH’s global CEO Dave Senay returned to South Africa, a country where he spent a few years when he was a teenager, to attend the WEF and commented, “Overall, what struck me most was the optimism, commitment and resolve the attendees expressed regarding the future prospects of the continent. The many challenges that have long bedeviled Africa are all too well-known. But it seems to me that a new generation of leaders is emerging – leaders who are prepared to roll up their sleeves and create a better future for their people.”

Our global strategy of extending our reach deeper into emerging markets was evidenced by the fourth meeting of our African affiliates in Lagos, Nigeria in early July.

The excitement of the world’s eyes being on South Africa is tangible, its our time to shine- Africa is not the next frontier it’s the current frontier.  We need to embrace our time.  If you are looking for an excuse to travel to South Africa, now could not be a better time – the World Cup is just ten months away.

Ke nako (Sotho translation for ‘Its time’).