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Archive for June, 2010

 

Jun 14 2010

Mandela Square and the FIFA Fan Fest

by at 3:58 am


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By Matt Crawford

After 3 long days of travel and fun, today was a good day for SIM students & staff to recharge for the exciting week ahead.  The day began with a short bus ride to Mandela Square for lunch and shopping at 12:00pm.  Many of the students purchased gifts for friends and family back at home.  Mandela Square is a beautiful shopping area with great shops and restaurants to experience. 

Nelson Mandela Square at Sandton City

Nelson Mandela Square at Sandton City

ESPN's broadcast booth at Nelson Mandela Square

ESPN's broadcast booth at Nelson Mandela Square

After returning back from Mandela Square, everyone quickly dropped their gifts off at their rooms and jumped back in the van.  We then proceeded on to the FIFA Fan Fest that we all have been itching to see!

We arrived, and with a quick pat down, continued on to the fun!  The experience was great as a whole.  There were lots of little shops and fun tents to explore.  The environment was culturally rich to say the least.  The Ghana vs. Serbia game was on a huge screen laid out before an open field where people of all countries were able to sit and enjoy the game together.

Food tents at the Fan Fest - many of us ate at the Brazilian place on the right

Food tents at the Fan Fest - many of us ate at the Brazilian place on the right

We were starting to get the feeling that most everyone was cheering for Ghana.  Most Africans root for other African countries when their teams are not playing.  They show real continent pride which is great to see!

Fans at the FIFA Fan Fest - the majority were cheering for Ghana

Fans with vuvuzelas at the FIFA Fan Fest - the majority were cheering for Ghana

After the game, we left Fan Fest and returned back to the lodge.  We went over the class schedule and our meetings for the rest of the week and went on our merry ways! Overall, great cultural experience we hope to do again!

SIM at the FIFA Fan Fest in Sandton

SIM at the FIFA Fan Fest in Sandton

One response so far | Categories: World Cup 2010

Jun 13 2010

USA vs. England at Royal Bafokeng Stadium

by at 2:11 pm


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Post and Photos by Roberto Coquis

Today was the big day, England vs. USA, would there be a repeat of the 1950’s “Miracle on the Grass!?”

Watch video clips from our trip on our GU SIM YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/GeorgetownSIM

The day began with a breakfast with Georgetown Alumni living in South Africa. This was a great opportunity to connect with those who have graduated before us and have been in South Africa for several years. They gave us great insight in the recent change in the country in preparation for the World Cup.

SIM students talking with an alum about experiences at Georgetown

SIM students talking with an alum about experiences at Georgetown

GU alumni and SIM students

GU alumni and SIM students

After brunch, we headed over to the hotel of the US Soccer Federation to get on the bus with them to the game in Rusterburg.  It was a pretty cool drive – we had a police escort the whole way (and saw lots of cows in the road…).

USSF Bus Caravan and Police Escort on the way to Rustenburg

Police escort and cows on the way to Rustenburg

Police escort and cows on the way to Rustenburg

On the way out to Rustenburg we took a small detour at the Sun City resort. We had lunch with the USA team’s friends/families and ran into one of the team’s biggest supporters, Drew Carey!  The resort was great – after lunch, we all had time to wander around and take a look at the area.

Group at Sun City resort after lunch

Group at Sun City resort after lunch

 

Me and Drew Carey!

Me and Drew Carey!

 We finally arrived at Royal Bafokeng Stadium around 6:30pm, an hour and a half before kickoff.  Our seats were outstanding – 7 rows off the field.  At the stadium the Brits and the Americans bantered back and forth but who would be victorious?

Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg

Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg

A young (and enthusiastic!) US fan!

A young (and enthusiastic!) US fan!

The Brits scored within 5 minutes of the game but the US did not let their score discourage them.  They fought back and eventually slipped one passed the British goalkeeper.  During the second half both teams battled hard but neither was able to score; the game ended in a 1-1 draw (a big coup for the US team!).

US team thanking the fans after the game

US team thanking the fans after the game

Overall, we had a great day, made even better by the point earned by the Americans with their tie!

No responses yet | Categories: World Cup 2010

Jun 11 2010

DC to Jo-Berg!

by at 9:37 pm


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Post by Krystina Lucido; Photos by Roberto Coquis

Well, we have finally arrived! I have relocated from my long-lived-in city of B-more (aka Baltimore) to Johannesburg (Jo-burg since I now have to adapt to African vernacular).

GU SIM group ready to go at Dulles airport!

GU SIM group ready to go at Dulles airport!

Arriving at the airport, it took about 2.5 seconds before I heard the vuvuzelas. Though I am sure the noise in the reverberation of the airport won’t compare to the thousands and thousands likely to be there at Saturday night’s game.

The first game of the World Cup — South Africa versus Mexico — had started by the time we arrived, and South Africa’s first goal, minutes into the second half, was announced vehemently as we exited customs.  

O. R. Tambo Airport went under intense construction to look presentable for this year’s event, and the work that went into it showed. Everywhere you turned there were brightly-colored banners displaying facades of soccer’s elite and corporate sponsorship silently sucking you into their product placement. Representatives even came around as passengers exited aircraft offering Coke in small cans (as if we’ve never had it before).

coke

Johannesburg Airport

Johannesburg Airport

So following normal operating procedure when entering a foreign country (exchanging currency, retrieving luggage, acquiring new phones, finding someone who can tell you where you are, etc.), our group entered the bus that will be escorting us throughout our 11 days here. Mind you the majority of African citizens drive Toyota Yarises and Mazda 3s, so our “bus” (roughly the size of my mom’s Rav4) plus 14 people’s luggage (eight of which are girls) fit us about as snugly as sardines (minus the oil).

Now, the airport was an expected submersion into African culture, but the ride through town on the way to our hotel — completely different story. Sponsor billboards lined the streets (including a repeated one reading “TO LET,” which I kept thinking was missing an “I”), and we hit traffic (which made me feel right at home) when we passed people exiting a FIFA FanFest party following the eventual draw between South Africa and Mexico. Fans littered the streets, blowing horns; cars were parked everywhere and I mean everywhere, vertical on hilltops off the sidewalks, anywhere they could find room. Fans walked home carrying white restaurant take-out boxes with black spots to look like, you guessed it, soccer balls. It was a sight to remember.

First group meeting at the University of Pretoria

First group meeting at the University of Pretoria

Tomorrow, the crew heads to the U.S. versus England game after dining with U.S. soccer families prior to heading to the stadium. It is a near 18-hour day including travel, so my post for the event will be delayed but hopefully well worth the wait.

GO USA!

Krystina Lucido

(Pictures by Roberto Coquis)

No responses yet | Categories: World Cup 2010

Jun 10 2010

GU SIM Heads to the World Cup!

by at 12:42 pm


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Hi all,

Well, we’re back again with another trip abroad.  Today a group of 13 of us, including 2 students from the Master of Professional Studies in Journalism degree program, led by Associate Dean Matt Winkler and Program Director Kristen Consolo, will board a flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.

The trip meets the requirements of the new course “World Cup and Global Sports Economics and Social Responsibility.” This course will focus on key areas in social responsibility, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and community and economic development.

We will be staying at the University of Pretoria in South Africa until June 22nd. While we are there we will meet with sports industry and social responsibility leaders from across the globe and also take part in some cultural experiences unique to the region. 

Here is just a sampling of what we will be up to these next few weeks. Check back for updates, videos and photos from GU SIM in South Africa!

Organizations and Key Leaders we will be meeting with during our adventures:

U.S. Soccer Federation:   Sunil Gulati, President: Brian Remedi, Chief Administrative Officer

Michael Kammarman, U.S. National Team Press Officer

FIFA World Cup Office :  Hubert Tiger, CSR Operations Manager Corporate Social Responsibility Department

ESPN: Amy Rosenfeld, Coordinating Producer; Mac Nwulu, our Senior Manager of Communications

Visa:  Chris Pepe, Head of FIFA/Football Management, Global Sponsorships and Partnerships

Coke : Amber Steele, Manager Global Event Operations/Worldwide Sports

Sony: Earl Patton, Manager-FIFA Partnership Project Office

Nike: Joe Elsmore, Director North America Soccer Sports Marketing; Tim Yu, Media Manager

Nike South Africa: Mzamo Masito, Nike South Africa, Brand Director / LaceUpSaveLives

Octagon Worldwide : Qondisa Ngwenya, President, Africa

NBA International : Amadou Gallo Fall, Vice President , Development in Africa

Sports Illustrated: Grant Wahl, Senior Writer

Soccer United Marketing : Kathy Carter, Executive Vice President

Georgetown Alumni Association – South Africa

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