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Panpa Bulletin : May 2006
May 2006 PaNPa bULLETIN | 47 PRESSING MaTTERS World Cup 2006 - how the media can win The good news first for all those who perhaps had doubts: Australia can be- come the 2006 World Champion! I will explain how in just a mo- ment. But let's start with a few fundamental words about this year's no. 1 sporting event. The figures speak for them- selves: When 32 top teams from six continents meet in Germany from June 9 to July 9 for the Foot- ball World Cup, it will be a media event of a very special kind. Ac- cording to FIFA, a total of about 14,000 journalists and media representatives are expected to attend, including some 4500 print journalists. The final match of the 2002 World Cup in Japan was seen by 1.1 billion viewers, and the audience for this year's event is predicted to be con- siderably larger. It is estimated that worldwide, a total of about 40 billion viewers will watch the games with Mark Schwarzer, Lucas Neill, Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell and their international colleagues. The national organi- sation committee in Germany and FIFA are investing a budget of more than EUR 1 billion to organise the event. Some three million tickets have been issued for the 64 matches, though ten times as many could have been sold. The battle among the media and the advertisers to catch the attention of the target audience is in full swing already, and that is just the start! There is one match that our newspaper pub- lishing houses will be unable to win: TV has the monopoly on topicality and the experience of live reporting. Only TV brings the emotions in real time into the liv- ing room, bars and pubs, as well as to the public locations where worldwide, thousands of viewers will watch the matches on big screens. In addition, the organis- ers have imposed many restric- tions and proprietary rights that make life more difficult for pub- lishers and that must be duly ob- served (For further information, see www.fifadigitalarchive.com). But one thing is clear: no newspaper can afford to ignore the Football World Cup. No other sport gives rise to so much inter- est and enthusiasm worldwide-- among both men and women equally. So how should newspa- per publishers act in order to se- cure their share of attention and especially advertising revenues? How can they position them- selves to steal some of the balls from the electronic media? The answer is really quite simple: newspaper publishing houses should concentrate on their strengths and core com- petencies. And these clearly lie in service, background report- ing, commentaries and local aspects. Newspaper houses can field a very good team and offer their readers orientation in the flood of information. Included on the team of modern publish- ing houses are large numbers of media channels that, where used cleverly, bring decisive added value for readers, subscribers and online users. They are also a platform for advertisers on which they can effectively com- municate their brand messages to the target audiences. This is all the more important because, in the flood of advertising messages destined to deluge us all via the electronic media, it is more vital than ever before that the adver- tising businesses should present a clear profile. Depending on the size of the publishing houses concerned, printed newspapers and special supplements, books, special DVDs, online features, mobile prize games, podcasts, etc., can play the ball back and forth to one another. The Foot- ball World Cup will undoubtedly unleash high levels of creativ- ity and innovation at publishing houses. Ifra has set itself the objective to promote media convergence at newspapers both by research and practice-oriented projects. Ifra's Newsplex philosophy aims to train journalists and publish- ing houses in the convergent use of multiple media platforms. It is against this background that we created the Ifra XMA Cross Media Awards 2006, in order to present and reward the most innovative and creative special projects of newspaper houses in connection with the Football World Cup 2006. It will be shown which projects were especially successful and what other news- paper houses can learn from them, for future sporting and cultural events. The submitted entries will be judged by a jury of international media experts, including leading newspaper designers, experts for new me- dia, representatives of advertis- ing and media agencies, a trade magazine for advertising and communication and others. The project is supported by manu- facturers who, with their prod- ucts, systems and services, pro- vide the technical basis for the convergent projects of newspa- per publishing houses, including dpa Deutsche Presse Agentur, Kodak, Protec and UPM. At this year's IfraExpo in Amsterdam (October 9 to 12, 2006) the win- ning projects will be shown in a special presentation. Newspa- per houses from Germany, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Croatia, Malaysia, Austria, Swit- zerland, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka and the U.S.A. have al- ready indicated their intention to register their special Football World Cup projects for the Ifra XMA. For information about the project, visit www.ifra.com/xma. This explains how Australia can become world champion this year: even if the football team does not reach the finals in Berlin on July 9. The Australian newspaper houses can register with Ifra for the Ifra XMA Cross Media Awards up to July 31. And in this way, make Australia the 2006 World Champion! Michael Heipel is the Director of Exhibitions, Ifra, Darmstadt/ Germany. email@example.com Michael heipel from Ifra looks at how australia can be world champions this year.