The official 2010 FIFA World Cup™ poster was unveiled on 23 November 2007 following a board meeting of the Local Organising Committee in Durban. The poster was designed by the South African creative agency Switch, who also created the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ emblem. The design beat three rivals in a public vote held throughout South Africa from 11 September to 30 September 2007. As the lucky winner in a lottery among all of the voters, South African Marilyn Rhoda was presented with a prize of two 2010 FIFA World Cup™ tickets provided by official sponsor MTN.
"Portraying a country in the shape of a man heading a ball is a new idea with potent symbolism. For me, football is all about emotion and passion, which is why I was particularly attracted to this poster. It invites the world to join in the celebration of the greatest football event on earth, while highlighting the pride and passion of the African continent and her people. It represents the African dream come true. The South Africans made a good selection for the poster, which will represent their country all the way up to 2010," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.
For the first time in football history, the FIFA World Cup™ will be hosted on African soil from 11 June to 11 July 2010. The artwork depicts a celebration of the African continent as well as everyone who calls it home. The simple and yet iconic rendering is symbolic of the relationship between football and Africa and captures a sense of excitement, awe and aspiration. It also reflects the positive impact that the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ will have on Africa. Africa is the "hero" of the official event poster. The unique shape of the continent almost naturally lends itself to the shape of a man's profile, while the face represents every single African supporter from Morocco in the north, Gambia in the east, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia in the west to South Africa in the south.
"The official poster symbolises the important role of football in the history, tradition and culture of the African continent. It's also a recognition that football has always been an inspiration for a better future and a generator of hope in Africa. It recognises that Africa has a football face and a football heart," explained Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee.
Bright, vibrant and celebratory, the colours of the poster are inspired by the South African flag, but also draw upon the African continent. The strong yellow background symbolises the sun as the source of warmth, energy and life.
From a total of 16 creative entries, all submitted by South African-based agencies, three proposals had been pre-selected for the public vote by South African residents. The jury was made up of FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke, CEO of the 2010 South African Local Organising Committee Danny Jordaan, Minister in the South African Presidency Essop Pahad, Deputy Finance Minister Jabu Moleketi, South African playwright and author Wally Serote, and artist and director of the Vega School of Brand Communication Gordon Cook. Following on from the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ in Germany, this was the second time that residents of the host country have been actively involved in the selection of the official event poster.