South Africa enjoys World Cup ad windfall

28 June 2010

JOHANNESBURG: The advertising industry in South Africa is set to receive an injection of more than $200m (€163m; £150m) this year, as leading brands like Nike look to target fans at the football World Cup.

Despite recording growth of just 0.4% year-on-year in 2009, the country's ad market basked in double-digit annual expansion rates between 2001 and 2008, according to figures from GroupM.

Given the likely boost in adspend that will accompany the World Cup, GroupM has revised its 2010 growth forecast for South Africa from 3% to 6.8%.

As such, South Africa is expected to generate an extra $220m in advertising expenditure this year when compared with 2009.

"Despite the World Cup being one of the most predictable events for media growth, we were pleased to double our ad growth forecast to 7% this year, driven by TV," said GroupM director Adam Smith.

"This is an unusually TV-dominated ad economy, which creates lots of leverage around sporting events."

Television advertising in South Africa is due to climb by 10% this year to about $2bn, while internet ad sales are anticipated to rise by 20% to some $19m.

Although not an official sponsor of the World Cup, Nike has recently launched a new campaign on South Africa's largest digital advertising screen.

The display, which measures 44 metres by 42 metres, is attached to a 30-storey building and shows messages sent by fans via Facebook and Twitter.

All messages, which are vetted by Nike, appear alongside images of football stars that are formally affiliated to the sports brand.

Anton Ferdinand, the brother of injured England captain Rio Ferdinand, was one of the first to post a message, alongside an image of Wayne Rooney. It simply read: "Believe to achieve." 

Data sourced from The Guardian; additional content by Warc staff