Usually when World Cup tickets become available on the open market they are gobbled up in an instant frenzy much like a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos. But that wasn’t the case in South Africa earlier this spring when the market for the most coveted ticket in the world became available to the public. In fact something really strange happened when ticket sales opened in South Africa for World Cup 2010.
Not enough people were buying them.
And although there are plenty of media related reasons why some World Cup fans might not make the trip this year including: the long travel, fear of violent outbreaks or other crimes, and the general nervousness towards the first hosted World Cup in Africa.
But the real reason why tickets weren’t being sold was much more simplistic then these serious issues.
It took FIFA a little bit of time to figure out why their sales numbers were lacking, but Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of the event’s organizing committee, explains why there was a shortage of buyers in this quote:
People in Africa are used to doing business in a certain way. They walk into a store with money, put it down on the counter and walk out with an item.
FIFA originally had organizers strictly selling tickets online, but once they realized that the typical South African way of doing business was more reliant on purchasing items over the counter, the FIFA officials realized were their plan of marketing had gone all wrong. They needed to actually open up ticket booths in order to sell the items over the counter because in the hosting nation many fans of the most beautiful game desired their ticket stub in their hand when they made the purchase.
It seems like a simple enough concept to me and in the age of credit card swipers, online shopping websites, and phone applications galore, I still prefer to pay by cash over the counter as well. In fact I don’t allow myself to go to amazon.com or any other online shopping sites because I find the digital age of shopping to be addictive and kind of stupid at the same time.
As of today 97% of the World Cup tickets have already been sold and the other 3% is expected to be bought out before the end of the weekend.