Blog: Simon WarburtonKickin' it, Hyundai-style

Simon Warburton | 24 May 2010

Hyundai is supplying all 32 World Cup team coaches

Hyundai is supplying all 32 World Cup team coaches

With just weeks to go before the quadrennial bunfight that is the World Cup - that's the football World Cup in case anyone has been on Mars for the past year - sponsors are jockeying for position to extract the maximum exposure for their brands.

And who can blame them? Football's world governing body FIFA, is charging top dollar for the privilege of sponsors adding logos to anything that moves - and takes a pretty dim view of anyone trying to muscle in on the act with any guerilla marketing not officially sanctioned.

Naturally, the automotive world is heavily involved and to that end Hyundai-Kia has won the golden ticket to be the official vehicle sponsor at the beano and will supply a notable 609 passenger cars/vans and 32 Universe Express Noble luxury coaches for every team involved.

A Hyundai spokeswoman coyly declined to reveal to just-auto exactly how much it was forking out for the privilege of splashing its logo around South Africa and the world, but it's a fair bet to assume it's substantial.

Hyundai are no fly-by-nights here either. For the past 11 years, the Korean manufacturer has been the official automotive supplier to all FIFA-sanctioned global events, while it has also extended its sponsorship to include the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

And in a move which is possibly a first, Hyundai has proudly assembled all 32 of its leviathan coaches together in front of the stadium in Johannesburg hosting the final on 11 July - and all festooned with a variety of slogans that may - or not - reflect national character.

Naturally, as hosts, the South African coach is to the fore, boldly declaiming: "One nation, proudly united under one rainbow," while its French counterpart (right) says rather more mundanely: "All together towards a new blue dream," (and not even a hint of helping hands).

It may be that some slogans have been somewhat freely translated, but there are some rather startling efforts. Favourites Brazil and Spain make the interesting claims: "The whole of Brazil is in here!" and "Hope is my road, victory is my destiny," respectively, while in deference to my colleague here at just-auto, New Zealand sports the laid back "Kickin' it Kiwi style" adorning its vehicle.

Being English, I'm a bit disappointed with our "Playing with pride and glory," but frankly if we win the thing - and please just once in my lifetime let that happen - I couldn't care less.

Particularly if we knock out our penalty nemeses Germany "On the road to win the cup" and Argentina (who have at least maintained a bus theme) "Last stop, glory."

But my hands down favourite for its surreal nature - and in whose team lurks possibly the most dangerous player in the tournament - yes that's you Didier Drogba - is Cote d'Ivoire's coach emblazoned with the glorious: "Elephants, let's fight for victory."


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