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Sports Features of Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Source: Kafui Dey

Ghana 2008 - Just a Bronze Medal?

Ask most Ghanaian soccer fans to assess the performance of the Black Stars at the African Cup of Nations and they’ll respond along the lines of “Okay…we did well, but we could have done better”. And indeed, our national team did earn a bronze medal for its efforts. But was that all? What else did Ghana gain from the just-ended tournament? To help me find answers, I asked the following questions:

1. How much in monetary terms did the just-ended Ghana 2008 football tournament contribute to the country’s economy?

2. What was the value of local and international media exposure that the competition generated?

3. What was the total media spend of organizations like the telecoms and beverage firms that ran promotions to tie their companies in with the football fiesta?

4. How much television coverage of the competition was generated on all 6 national networks?

5. How much income was derived from spectators buying all those colourful t-shirts, flags, horns, wigs and assorted paraphernalia?

6. What was the value of income earned from the services of contractors like Green Grass Technology and Zoomlion, the waste disposal experts to name just a few?

7. How much was earned from corporate hospitality by sponsors such as Stanbic Bank and Ghana Guinness Breweries?

8. Did Ghana 2008 turn out to be a tourist attraction? If so, where did the majority of guests originate from and how long did they stay in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale, the host cities? Did they take the opportunity to discover other parts of Ghana?

9. Were our guests interviewed about their Ghana 2008 experience? If so, what information was obtained about plans of these guests to come back and visit the country in future?

10. Did Ghana 2008 propel tourism and stimulate spending in the venues and around the country? In what ways could this knowledge affect the government’s tourism strategies and programmes?

11. What was the true worth of the tournament?

12. Was anybody even gathering all this information before, during and after the tournament?

I suspect Ghana gained more than just a bronze from the continental football fiesta. But I need hard facts to confirm my suspicions. With answers to these questions, I am confident that we can use all of this information to maximize the impact of events that the country will host in the future. Did I hear someone say “World Cup 2050” ?