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FIFA World Cup Mascot Zakumi



Global Brands Group

Global Brands Group (GBG) is FIFA’s Master Licensee and its exclusive worldwide licensing representative.

Statement of Problem

Worldwide media made certain claims that GBG contracted international manufacturers to produce the official licensed product instead of involving local South African businesses.

Claims made also stated that Zakumi (the official mascot) was being produced in a sweatshop in China.

Statement of Opportunity

Even though these media allegations initially seemed damning, it provided GBG with the perfect opportunity to not only to set the record straight about false allegations but to confirm the employment and business opportunities it had created for the South African market during the World Cup period.

Communication Tools

  • Research was conducted internally to establish whether the media allegations were true.
  • Media releases were written and distributed to international press.
  • Media interviews were set up and conducted across print, radio, television and online channels.
  • Communication activities were entered into with COSATU regarding local production and manufacturing opportunities.
  • Worldwide offices of FIFA and GBG were kept in the loop at all times to avoid any form of miscommunications.


Research proved that GBG’s housekeeping was in order and minor issues discovered at its Chinese factory were resolved. The findings were used to factually refute any reported inaccuracies.

Using the research, which was conducted by an internationally renowned third party auditing company, the facts were presented to the media and it was reported as such internationally.

One-on-one interviews with GBG’s General Manager also set the record straight and he was able to expand on the opportunities created for the local business markets (formal as well as informal sectors).

Communication efforts with COSATU proved successful and national strikes which were looming and could have hampered or potentially have shut down the production of locally produced World Cup related products, were avoided.

COSATU were so impressed with what was being manufactured and produced, that they publicly expressed their support for GBG’s efforts.

Effective internal communications ensured that all offices and employees worldwide knew and understood the situation, and that all media enquiries were referred to one point of contact: PR Worx.

Case Study - Zakumi articles


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