I was closer to the World Cup Winner’s Trophy than Cristiano Ronaldo will ever be.
The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour was organized by VISA – Middle East. The trophy itself was on display in The Dubai Mall on 29-30-31 March, 2013 from 10:00 – 22:00, at the Grand Atrium. The activity around the event was mainly focusing on allowing thousands of people taking their picture near the cup. Some Samba lookalike artists danced next to the cup and a couple of football freestylers showcased their skills.
People queued in the mall, stepped up to the cup, took the photo [no touching or holding was allowed], and gathered around it to win some memorabilia by VISA [including the Brazil 2014 mascot].
I was present at the mall, but couldn’t get a good hold of the cup or take a good photo. I even searched in the many photo albums on Visa’s Facebook Page, and couldn’t spot mine. However, I was lucky and privileged to get a special invitation from VISA to see the cup up close and personal.
The special showcasing was held at the Armani Hotel, Floor 123 in Burj Khalifa, Dubai, on 1 April, 2013. I went there looking for another chance next to the cup and I made sure I spent some time talking to it. The activities around the cup were similar to those in the mall, yet no gifts were given to the attendees but some food and beverages were served.
The marketing guys at VISA had some words talking about why they have chosen to bring the trophy and take it on tour. The lovely part out of the PR talk was the journey the trophy took and will take, soon.
A representative from VISA flew over from Dubai to Frankfurt where she met someone bringing the trophy from another event in Brussels. She flew First Class on Emirates Airlines over to Dubai with the trophy. After being held on display in The Dubai Mall, the trophy was brought to the Armani Hotel for a day, after which it will go to Kuwait for a day, then Oman for a day, too, before coming back to Dubai for one more day with the people from VISA. The journey will be concluded after that by flying again to Europe, specifically Zurich, to be handed out to the FIFA caretakers.
I couldn’t touch the trophy for security reasons, but I really felt I own the world while standing next to it. I asked many questions to finally come to a conclusion demystifying the fact about who gets to keep it forever. Apparently, this trophy is the ‘Winner’s Trophy’ which will be given to the National Team winning the Brazil 2014 Final. The original trophy never leaves the FIFA headquarters but for the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Cup Tournament. Another fact I got is that this trophy with its current design will not change similar to what happened earlier when Brazil won in 1970. There was a rule that any nation winning three titles in the World Cup will get to keep the cup forever and the design changes. It seems that this rule is now abolished. Brazil – Argentina – Italy – Germany will not keep this trophy with them in case any won the next tournament.
The event was a once in a lifetime chance to see the World Cup this close, and it gave me a good feeling too. I will be looking for more events by VISA and other sponsors as the Head of Marketing Karim Beg promised.
Here are the two videos I managed to shoot:
p.s. Excuse my video and photo taking capabilities