A year after: one perspective from the ground

I passed a few games at the 2010 World Cup with my friend Andrew Bonfiglio; we even shared the experience of trying to leave Soccer City after the opening match between South Africa and Mexico.  Andrew  has lived in South Africa since the World Cup kicked off a year ago and he was kind enough to provide his perspective on the last year in the country, post World Cup fever.  Thanks Andrew!


By Andrew Bonfiglio

A few weeks ago now, June 11, 2011 marked the 1 year anniversary of the World Cup’s first match on the African continent as South Africa took on Mexico in the opening game Soccer City (now Nedbank stadium) . For me, it was very nostalgic. Just one year ago, after moving to South Africa only 6 weeks prior to this momentous occasion, I woke up at 7am planning on doing some work in the morning in time to watch the game in the afternoon. To my surprise, a journalist friend of mine called me about 7:15am and upon answering the phone, I heard, “Drew, how much do you love me?” I was thrown for a moment, but quickly responded, “It depends on what you say next.” Noah (www.noahrosenberg.com) had just scored us two tickets to the opening match. I couldn’t contain myself. We rushed around from 9am – 12:30am getting gear to wear to the match and picking up the tickets. Fifteen KM and 3 hours of traffic later we arrived at Soccer City and walked to our seats just before the opening whistle. Fifty five minutes later, South Africa’s Siphiwe Tshabalala scored the first goal of the tournament. The crowd erupted and the excitement was nothing like anything I had every felt or seen before. That set the stage for the rest of an amazing Cup and gave me my fondest memory of 2010. You couldn’t help but cheer for South Africa – both the team and the country – to have a successful tournament.

So here we are, one year later. I returned to South Africa less than three weeks ago, after a two month break back in the US, to run my company’s leadership development and social impact program (www.emzingo.com, video). The vibe was certainly different. June 11, 2011 was a bittersweet day for South Africa. For many, it was a day of mourning as Albertina Sisulu – the great anti-apartheid activist, husband of the late activist and leader Walter Sisulu, and good friend of Nelson Mandela – was buried after passing away the week before. However, Sisulu was 92 and had lived an amazing and influential life that helped shape today’s South Africa. I certainly believe the day was a celebration of her life and accomplishments more than a day to mourn and I personally believe she would have wanted the country to celebrate the anniversary of the WC and be proud of what South Africa accomplished.

And many did. SABC showed several matches as well as a World Cup special on Saturday night. Articles in the local papers and stories on the local radio stations remembered last year fondly. The majority would love to turn back time and relive the excitement of last June (which I can understand – winter is much better with the World Cup).

I don’t know if the investment SA made in stadiums, roads, additional security, etc… will give an ROI that economists would approve of, but I must say, the people I talked to and the South Africa I have seen in 2011 thinks it was worth it. My colleagues and friends are proud to be part of a nation that hosted such an exciting and successful event. They feel as if they have proven themselves. The people are more confident and believe they can compete on a global scale in just about anything. South Africa’s membership in the exclusive BRICS club and President Zuma leading the conversation about a “Cape to Cairo” trade agreement are two recent examples of how SA is continuing propel itself into the global spotlight.

For me, though, one year later, the most exciting and important outcome of the World Cup is that the people I’ve spoken to feel closer and more united as a country. South Africa has its challenges and is far from being a utopia, but I for one feel lucky to have been part of an incredible 2010 World Cup and to continue to get to know a country with so much heart and potential.

A short video on the Emzingo program that Andrew started up in South Africa.

Guest Post: Compton Kids in South Africa? Let’s help them get there!

Compton Kids in South Africa?

By Mike Herman, President & Founder Compton United Soccer Club

Kids from Compton don’t usually get around much.  Some haven’t been two hours away to the mountains.  Some haven’t even been to the beach 20 minutes away.

So how is it possible that 10 Compton kids are planning to go to the other side of the globe to Johannesburg, South Africa?

In one word… soccer (or futbol, football, etc.).

Soccer is undeniably, the most universal and popular sport in the world.  It is played everywhere.  From the dirt fields of South America to the plains of Kenya, to the slums of Liverpool where the game was founded, anyone can be a “footballer”.  The game does not discriminate by age, size, race, creed, color or socioeconomic status.

Sports in general, and soccer specifically, can be a powerful tool to bring communities together – communities like Compton and Mamelodi, a poor suburb outside of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Our Compton United kids are meeting up with African kids in Mamelodi to play in the Hope Cup Tournament. Bridge to Cross (the organization that has brought the model of Boys and Girls Clubs to South Africa) hosts this annual tournament.  The Compton United Boy’s Under 15 team will participate with 16 other international youth teams in a week- long celebration of youth and hope.

Jose Hernandez, Captain of U15 team

Jose Hernandez, the Captain of the Compton United U15 team is excited about the trip.  He says,

“I am excited because we will show other kids that not only professionals can travel around the world but we can as well.  The best thing about going to South Africa is that we all get to have a new experience in soccer, and we get to visit a new place that none of us have been, and learn about a different culture”.

The main mission of Compton United and Bridge to Cross goes far more  just soccer games.  Soccer is a tremendous tool for youth and leadership development; this lies at the heart of the two organizations.  Hope Cup players will also participate in a large community service project, as they help repair and build a school in Mamelodi.  They will also visit the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, and have discussions on race in their cultures.

Compton and Mamelodi are quite different but also very similar.  They both have kids full of potential but limited on resources. They both have teens and young adults that have lost most, if not all, the hope they had as children. They are also both communities devastated by poverty, hunger, homelessness, sickness, crime and despair.

The Hope Cup players will see firsthand how hope can transform people and ultimately transform communities.

The players and staff are tremendously excited about this trip.  It will be life changing for everyone.

However, funding has been slow and everyone is working hard to bring in investors for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

For more information on the trip, please visit, http://tr.im/cuscwc2010b

For more information on the fund raising, please visit, http://tr.im/cuscwc2010

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.  -Christopher Reeve

About the Author:

Mike Herman is the President and Founder of the Compton United Soccer Club in Compton, CA.

Compton United Soccer Club was created to fill the absence of sanctioned, quality youth soccer programs in the inner city.

The Compton United Mission Statement:

Our Mission: Through the sport of soccer and the resources of US Soccer, develop a new generation of leaders who excel in all aspects of life: mentally, physically, socially, spiritually, and emotionally, to ultimately help develop our community into a model of social, economic and spiritual transformation.

For more information see www.comptonunited.org or email Mike at mike.herman@comptonunited.org or follow Mike on Twitter @urbanfocus

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Video Interview featured on Business & Development

I recently had the honor to be interviewed by Marco Puccia for his Business & Development site on the topic of the World Cup and CSR.  Please visit his site at the link below to view the video.  And if you are interested in watching the video, Marco was kind enough to provide a timeline of the (rather) long video.


00:00 – 01:00 Introduction
01:00 – 03:11 About John Kim and Interest in WorldCupCSR
03:11 – 05:37 Creating Sustainable Infrastructure
05:37 – 07:08 How Did You Decide to Explore This Topic Via Blogging?
07:08 – 10:17 Trends and Major Players
10:17 – 12:43 How Are Sponsors Engaging in CSR?
12:43 – 13:31 Nike
13:31 – 15:03 One Goal Campaign
15:03 – 16:20 Nestle
16:20 – 17:07 MTN
17:07 – 19:13 IBM
19:13 – 21:21 ADIDAS
21:21 – 23:07 Do Firms Look At South Africa or Africa as a Viable Market?
23:07 – 24:44 Why Should Companies Engage in CSR / Cause Marketing Efforts Around the World Cup?
24:44 – 26:32 While in The Global Spotlight, What Does South Africa Have to Gain?

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Pledge My Seat is now LIVE! Pledge here!

Kick4Change’s Pledge My Seat campaign went live on December 4th, the day of the World Cup Draw.  This occasion was exciting for the teams participating of course, but also for the millions of people who can now participate in the Pledge My Seat program and for the hundreds of thousands of children in Africa who will be benefit from their new 4sport boots!

From Jamie and Simon, the co-founders of Kick4Change:

PledgeMySeat is a global legacy campaign created by award winning social enterprise kick4change CIC.  The aim is to send 94,700 brand new football boots to underprivileged African children.

  Based on the venue of the 2010 World Cup final, we are selling seats in our virtual stadium. Every seat pledged represents a pair of new football boots that we’ll send to our charity partners who all use football as a building block of social change. The boots will be used to engage children in educational programmes, dealing with issues such as HIV awareness and dealing with the stigma of having Aids, as well as teaching basic life skills such as respect for others and self esteem.

In pledging your seat, you’ll receive a unique seat number that will automatically enter you into a prize draw.  Amongst the prizes is the chance to win a trip to Africa to play in an All Star football tournament and the opportunity to assist one of our charity partners in delivering their educational programmes.

All profits generated from this campaign will be reinvested back into a variety of UK beneficiaries including schools, grass root clubs, community initiatives and good causes.  Please support us in our ‘Home and Away’ campaign, helping create a lasting legacy amongst children from the 2010 World Cup.

I just pledged my seat early and now have a “front row” seat for the World Cup.  For the price of 1 full pair of 4sport boots, £14.99, you can “purchase” your seat; where will you be sitting? As of December 7th, 763 seats have been pledged.  If you can’t actually  be in South Africa for the games, this is a wonderful way to directly participate.

Will your seat be connected to a pair of football boots for the next generation of African footballers, teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, innovators, etc.?  Who knows, but let’s do one small thing that may help give them a chance.

Follow @kick4change on Twitter to stay updated on the Pledge My Seat program.  Please use #pledgemyseat if tweeting about the initiative!

And for a link to an earlier interview with the founders of Kick4Change, click here: https://worldcupcsr.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/interview-with-jamie-tosh-of-kick4change-a-new-social-enterprise/

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Adidas and Yunus team up to make 1 euro sneaker

Recently Adidas announced plans to make a 1 euro sneaker!  They have teamed up with Muhamed Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Ashoka fellow, founder of Grameen bank, and all around awesome human being, to design and produce a 1 euro shoe for the BOP market (bottom of the pyramid), starting in Bangladesh.

According to a news release:

Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus suggested the “social business” project to the company, which normally focuses on trendy, expensive sportswear for people who want to project a sporty image.

Yunus advised Adidas that people in the poor world need products that are both affordable and manufactured locally, creating jobs.  The first Adidas non-profit shoes will be made in and for Bangladesh.

Adidas Group spokesperson Jan Runau said at the company’s head office in Herzogenaurach that the “one-euro” price-tag was more a concept and did not mean the shoes really would be that inexpensive.  More specifically, the product is to be sold at no more than the cost of materials and manufacture. A memorandum of intent has been signed.

This is pretty impressive.  Not only is this a savvy business move to tap into the billions of potential consumers in the “bottom of the pyramid” market, but it is a truly compassionate move by the company.  I’m surprised – this seems like a move Nike would make – but this is an amazing way to extend the brand while providing access to a basic human need to billions; shoes may not sound like much but they can prevent many easily avoidable health problems as well as inspire more children to participate in sport.

And kudos to Adidas for teaming up with Mohamed Yunus, one of the true giants working to end poverty around the world.  I couldn’t think of a better, more genuine, and respected figure to have developed this partnership with.

Let’s just hope that as they continue this partnership, Adidas sticks to the contents of their MOI (which I’m sure Yunus has combed overly closely), to keep the jobs in Bangladesh and the price point of these shoes extremely low.

I’m looking forward to tracking this project; I would be very curious to know if they plan on engaging the southern Africa market pre or post the World Cup with these shoes.

To read the full article, click here: http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=29&art_id=iol1258316925203G655

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Chats with Dzcus WorldCup and Mike from Compton United

I recently had the pleasure to have phone (in-real-life, I know… amazing) conversations with two folks I’ve connected with through the blog and Twitter.  Those folks are @Dzcuz_worldcup and Mike Herman, aka @urbanfocus, CEO of the wonderful organization, Compton United.

Dzcus_worldcup, started a really wonderful wiki for South Africa and World Cup related subjects which can be found here: http://worldcup2010.dzcus.com/ It’s a forum where anyone can ask and answer questions related to the games; questions ranging from logistics i.e. where to stay in Capetown to what the hell “Bafana Bafana” (the name of the South African National team) means!

It’s a great resource and I hope it will continue to grow and be useful.  Look out for a future post from @Dzcuz_worldcup who may introduce some ways to use the Wiki for CSR and social/good purposes!


via comptonunited.org

The same evening I talked to Mike Herman, CEO of Compton United, a wonderful organization in the Compton, Los Angeles area, that uses youth soccer as a youth and community development tool.  They are a really remarkable organization and I’m excited to continue talking with Mike about ways to integrate what they’re doing with some other other social enterprise and World Cup related things.

Also look out for a future contribution from Mike about Compton United and their plans to be in South Africa during the World Cup.

Man, the internet can be used for good things!


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Interview with Jamie Tosh of kick4change, a new social enterprise

The internet works in strange and beautiful ways.  David Connor, CEO of Coethica, a CSR consultancy in the UK found me through my blog a little while back.  We stayed in contact and through his good-will and kindness he put me in touch with Jamie Tosh, founder of a new and exciting social enterprise, kick4change.  I’ve had the good fortune to speak with Jamie and co-founder, Simon Brown, a number of times now and am hoping to help them, both spread the word and in the operations of the enterprise, as they continue to build kick4change.  Their primary focus was on the UK market, but with the World Cup in South Africa, they realized it would be a huge opportunity to build their brand and do a world of good throughout Africa. I’m a huge fan of the business model and founders, and with Weber Shandwick, a top notch global PR firm, and many impressive partnering organizations, I foresee a successful business after my own heart that will be doing good while doing well.  I could rattle on, but I’ll let Jamie explain the rest.  Thanks again Jamie!

News flash: kick4change was recognised at yesterday’s Social Enterprise awards night, sponsored by Business Link Yorkshire, winning the prestigious award of “Innovation in Enterprise”.

kick4change1.  In a nutshell, what is kick4change?

kick4change are a social enterprise company that re-invest all profits back into grass roots sports. kick4change comprises UK and International elements – our ‘home and away’ approach.

Our ‘Home’ market is UK schools, clubs and community initiatives. For every pair of boots purchased, kick4change will donate 50% of the profits directly to the school or club of the purchaser’s choice. The remaining 50% goes into an ‘asset lock’ to be spent on community initiatives, providing sustainable revenue streams for schools and junior sports clubs and other good causes and community initiatives.

In essence we have taken an everyday fundamental piece of sports kit (football boots) and turned it into a sustainable revenue stream for such organisations.

Our ‘Away’ market is based on our CSR model of working with practitioner charities overseas. We will also use our boots to reach as many African children as possible, partnering with charities that use sport as a building block for education, awareness and inclusion, and using the FIFA 2010 World Cup as a backdrop.

image of branded boot (cleat) for sale on kick4change website

image of branded boot (cleat) for sale on kick4change website

2.  How did you two meet (Jamie Tosh and Simon Brown are the founders)? How did the idea come about?

We have been friends since meeting at school aged 13, almost 20 years ago. The initial concept came from coaching local youngsters who had insufficient equipment to use. This was despite all owning expensive, branded boots and kit. The idea of creating our own sports brand and placing it in a social model was essentially born out of a lack of resources. The basic idea was to design a vehicle that could be used to re-invest profits from the sale of fundamental sports kit back into the areas that need them – i.e. grass roots sports.

3.  Why a social enterprise?  Social enterprises have gained a lot of steam
in the past few years; what is the landscape for social enterprises in the
UK? Is it harder to start a social enterprise vs. a fully just-for-profit

We wanted to shout about our ‘profit redistribution model’ and be transparent in our operations. We figured that in the current economic climate, social funding would be easier to obtain. We didn’t want to be known as a not for profit business as that could detract from our core message, nor could we afford to run a private, for profit business as this wouldn’t give us our unique USP. We are not embarrassed about making profits, that is why we are doing this – it’s just that we choose to re-invest all our profits back into grass roots sports. The more we make, the more communities we can impact and the more change we can instigate. Social Enterprise is a growing trend in the UK. SE organisations are predominantly service led, we are breaking the mould for offering branded products under a SE banner and this is incredibly exciting.

So much so we can proudly announce kick4change was recognised at the recent Social Enterprise awards night, winning the prestigious award of “Innovation in Enterprise”. We very much see this award as recognition of the companies hard work over the last year and hope this will allow our concept and brand values to be heard by a larger audience.

4.  What are your short term/long term goals for Kick4Change – both
financially and socially?

The short term goals are to get established and gain a foothold in the market place. We will only do this through consumers accepting us as a new brand, one that they can trust and one that is very clear about its core values. If we are successful in portraying these, sales and acceptance should follow. In the medium term we will be launching a number of initiatives that will allow companies and individuals to help us send over 100,000 boots to underprivileged children in Africa. With this will come profits that will allow us to start impacting socially in a variety of ways. We want to encourage increased child participation in sport and help break down social inclusion barriers. Of course sending over 100,000 new boots to Africa will also help leave a lasting legacy from the World Cup. We are working with a number of charitable partners in Africa who use football as a way of creating social change. A great example is our partnership with Kick4Life. Kick4Life use football as a way of engaging with children and educating them in things like HIV prevention and living with the stigma of carrying Aids.  (click here for earlier interview with Steve Fleming, CEO of Kick4Life)

5.  How can someone get involved/help out?

We are always looking for partnership and sponsorship opportunities. We are also open to offers of help, particularly with funding and contacts. Once we launch some of our initiatives, such as the 100,000 boot campaign, it will be clearer how people can directly help – watch this space!

To learn more about kick4change or buy some boots (cleats) here is some additional information:

Jamie’s e-mail: jamie <at> kick4change <dot> org

Web: www.kick4change.org

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kick4change

Also watch this space for pictures from kick4change!

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