World Cup soccer

Shanghai 11th June 2010

Tonight will be the kick off of one of the biggest sporting events in the World, the 2010 World Cup soccer, probably attracting as much attention as the Olympic Games. Though the tournament is held in South Africa, soccer fever has hit towns all over the world, pubs and café’s are bracing themselves for long and rowdy nights, certainly in this part of the world where some of the matches only start at 2.30am in the morning. Retail outlets are cashing in with soccer themed promotions. This morning I saw a McDonalds delivery man with a soccer ball helmet on his head rushing past on his bike 🙂

What does this mean for lighting? From my point of view this is mainly an affair concerning the lighting manufacturers. They have been battling each other for the honor of supplying the lights for the sporting venues, many of them newly built or renovated for the purpose. Because of the enormous publicity and exposure surrounding the event, many of the manufacturers/ suppliers are pressured to go in as sponsors. From my Philips time I know however that such investment often largely pays off in spin off projects afterwards. However you need to have deep pockets to do so, hence you will see that sponsors are always big multi-national corporations such as Philips, GE, Thorn, Osram, Siemens, etc.

At our level as lighting designers it is a totally tough call as we are small practices which are heavily relying on cash flow. On top of that these projects are highly demanding and time consuming, subsidizing such projects is therefore a difficult business decision.

We encounter this at times with very high profile projects where the client plays on the public exposure and mileage you will get out of a project to bargain the fees down. I have such project right now which is likely to be an immediate financial burden. However the spin off opportunities and high profile exposure on completion are expected to open many doors in the future. What is wisdom? Time will tell….

As for the World Cup I will definitely be watching as and when I have the opportunity and will be rooting for Holland and Australia!….. Hup, Holland, Hup….Ozzie, Ozzie Ozzie…Oi Oi Oi!

11. June 2010 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: lighting and the economy | Leave a comment

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