The trial run of public viewings were held in Ghana between June 24 and July 3 2009 to coincide with the FIFA Confederations Cup. The trials went under the rubric "JICA and Sony For the Next Generation in Ghana 2009."
Matches from the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa were broadcast in outdoor settings. We visited seven locations over a 10-day period with total participation of almost 9,000 people. There were awareness campaigns targeted at children and young people, with broadcasts of educational videos on HIV/AIDS prevention and skits and quizzes performed by local NGOs before and after the matches, and at halftime.
There was plenty of drama out on the road, with violent storms breaking out during the matches and power outages immediately before. But despite such challenges, the sight of the local people gazing spellbound at the screen and of the children thrilled to see their heroes in action confirmed the project's value.
"When I saw the kids enthralled by the game I realized just how irresistibly exciting football is. We take video images for granted here in Japan, but this experience reminded us of their power. It's been a big learn for me and other Sony employees. We've been taught a valuable lesson,"commented Yoshiihiro Nakanishi from Sony Creative Center, who was involved with the project from the very start.