Cape Town, South Africa - The Sony Group, an official FIFA Partner, today announced its plans to embark on a series of strategic initiatives focused on its 3D, Network, and CSR programs, all connected to its sponsorship of "2010 FIFA World CupTM." The activities will kick off on December 4th (Cape Town local time) to coincide with the "Final Draw of the 2010 FIFA World CupTM."
Details of these activities are as follows:
Sony Corporation and FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) have today announced an agreement for selected media rights of the 2010 FIFA World CupTM in 3D. FIFA is to produce the world's first FIFA World CupTM in 3D. Up to 25 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South AfricaTM matches will be produced using Sony's 3D professional cameras, which will provide coverage of the action that is unprecedented in depth, vividness and excitement to people around the world. By combining the excitement of the FIFA World CupTM with 3D coverage generated using Sony's technology and products, Sony and FIFA will provide the action and emotion of the World Cup to viewers around the world, and a viewing experience similar to being in the stadiums themselves.
Going beyond existing ways of enjoying football, such as by going to a match or watching it on TV, Sony will offer new ways of experiencing football with dynamic realism leveraging Sony's network platform. For example, Sony has today opened, the "FevaArena" a communication area for soccer fans located within "PlayStation®Home," an online virtual community space where PlayStation®3 users can meet, communicate and play games by accessing the "PlayStation®Network." Through "FevaArena," Sony will aim to generate excitement around football within the online community by hosting joint events with other Official FIFA Partner companies, the 2010 FIFA World CupTM Official Mascot "Zakumi," and the South Africa Tourist Association (in Japan), as well as opening an online avatar football merchandizing shop. The "FevaArena" will first open in Japan, and then gradually be extended to other regions around the world.
In June 2009, Sony launched the football web site "FevaCasters (www.sony.com/football *This link is no longer active and has been changed to the following:http://www.sony.net/united/football/)." Through this forum, young journalists designated as "FevaCasters" have been transmitting on-the-scene reports about South Africa, the World Cup and other FIFA-related events and activities to readers around the world. Going forward Sony will expand the program, including the number of "FevaCasters" and the frequency and range of their reports. The aforementioned "FevaArena" will host "FevaCasters" content, and in Germany on December 4, Sony Pictures Television*1 "AXN" television network will premiere "Inside South Africa" a weekly program featuring the best "FevaCasters" clips.
Furthermore, as part of Sony Ericsson's recent launch of their "Extra Man" campaign, which aims to deliver the ultimate football experience for World Cup supporters across the globe, the company will soon be announcing a unique football application which, in conjunction with FIFA Mobile Content Licensees, will deliver the best football experience on a handset. Sony Ericsson will also introduce a new way for football fans to support their team online through a unique social networking initiative, the "Sony Ericsson Twitter Cup." Further details will be provided by Sony Ericsson in due course.
Sony is also commencing the following CSR activities towards the first FIFA World Cup in Africa, based on Sony's CSR activity policy which centers on the themes of "Technology," "Participation of (Sony's) employees," and "Partnership."
JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency)," UNDP (United Nations Development Program)," and Sony are preparing the "For Local Communities" Project. This project will provide a large screen live public viewing system incorporating a Sony video projector, Blu-ray Disc player, and audio mixer which will televise FIFA World CupTM games in HD for free in selected African countries that are sending teams to the World Cup (tentatively, Ghana and Cameroon). This will be conducted in parallel with JICA and UNDP's social awareness project to end poverty and promote education and prevention of HIV/AIDS, to not only deliver the dreams and emotion of football, but also contribute to the social and economic development of these countries.
A similar project co-implemented by Sony and JICA in Ghana (July 2009) attracted approximately 7,500 people (more than five times the usual attendance), enabling an estimated 1,100 people (more than three times the usual number) to receive HIV counseling and testing, contributing to enhanced awareness of this pressing health issue.
Although South Africa is the host country for the 2010 FIFA World CupTM there are many people without the economic means to attend the games themselves. Therefore, the "For the Children" project will be launched to invite 15,000 South African children to attend the games. This project will be implemented together with local NGO organizations to also promote the education and prevention of HIV/AIDS.
Furthermore, Sony launched the "For Local NGOs" project to support NGOs around the world.
In the framework of its extended partnership with FIFA in the field of CSR, Sony will support Football for Hope. As part of that support, the "Siyakhona (We can)"- project will provide young leaders and talents in disadvantaged communities with equipment and training to enhance their media and communication skills. The project will provide Sony products, such as "Cyber-shot" digital still cameras and "VAIO" computers, and training to enhance media and communication skills to young leaders chosen from around 40 community-based organizations that are part of Football for Hope, a movement that uses the power of the game for social development.
Sony will announce details of further activities leading towards the 2010 FIFA World CupTM going forward. For other Sony Group football related activities, please refer to:
*1 Sony Pictures Television (incl. AXN, Sony Entertainment Television, ANIMAX) airs in over 140 countries.
* PlayStation is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
* All trade names are either registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders.
FIFA together with Sony Computer Entertainment and Electronic Arts have been hosting the "FIFA Interactive World Cup" on PlayStation®3, its PlayStation®Network, and the "FIFA" series of game titles. "FIFA Interactive World Cup" is the only FIFA sponsored World Cup event that people around the world can participate in as the "lead player." More than 500,000 people from 52 countries participated in this year's "FIFA Interactive World Cup," with the final held in Spain in May this year. For the 2010 event, the preliminaries have started in October 2009, and the finals are scheduled to be again held in Spain in May 2010. Through the "PlayStation®Network," registered users worldwide can join in the preliminary games, enabling them to participate in a whole new entertainment experience.
The Sony Group is also involved in the "Flag Bearer" program which invites children (ages 10 to 16) to enter the stadium bearing the FIFA flag at the pre-game ceremonies, as well as the "Fan Photographer" program which provides photographers with access to a designated photo-shooting area within the stadium before the match starts. These programs are being conducted in conjunction with other sales promotion campaigns to provide football fans and customers with the unforgettable experience of standing on the same pitch as their heroes.
As part of its extensive football-related brand and marketing activities around the world, the Sony Group is a supporting company of the Japan Football Association, sponsor of UEFA (Union of European Football Associations), and Kaka who promotes Sony products.