Michael Essien has signed on as the MTN 2010 Associate to represent the mobile operator’s brand around the world, as the countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa continues up to the kick-off on 11 June of next year. The Chelsea mid-fielder and captain of Ghana’s national team is passionate about promoting the continent and the event as a showcase to the world. Says Essien: “Although I play football in the world’s most competitive league, my heart is in Africa. Like millions of others from Cape to Cairo, I can’t wait to be part of the 2010 action.”
Essien committed to spread the message of Africa’s drive to present the most spectacular World Cup contest ever seen, saying: “I am among a few from Africa who have made it on the international football scene. Yet, very few people from this continent get the opportunity to watch us perform. Therefore, the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa will be a rare platform for ordinary people to witness the world’s most talented players on the soccer pitch doing extraordinary things.”
MTN is equally delighted to have Essien on board the campaign. On the inclusion of Essien in MTN’s 2010 campaign, the company’s Group Executive for Corporate Affairs, Nozipho January-Bardill, said: “Essien’s meteoric rise to soccer stardom – from playing soccer on the streets of Accra to plying his trade in the world’s most competitive football league in England – resembles that of MTN which has grown from being a small telecommunications operator in 1994 to being a multinational giant.
“MTN’s widespread presence in Africa, also with operations in the Middle East, cannot be denied. It is truly fitting that it is the first and only African sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, with the top football icon from Africa – Michael Essien – as its proud associate.”
MTN is the only Global sponsor of the event for the African continent, and has secured exclusive rights to provide mobile content during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa event.