June 4, 2009: The NHL's Stanley Cup goes on an annual tour when the season ends, and the Olympic torch makes a highly publicized journey leading up to the Games. Now, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the world govern body for soccer, said the World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola would launch this September in anticipation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, to be held next June-July in South Africa. Coca-Cola and FIFA said the route would span 86 countries and cover 83,274 miles in 225 days, beginning Sept. 21, 2009 from FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, and ending May 4, 2010 in South Africa. The 2006 tour prior to the World Cup in Germany visited 31 cities in 29 countries, covering 63,734 miles. At events in each city, people will have the opportunity to have a souvenir photo taken of themselves with the trophy, view a 3-D movie showcasing memorable moments of the FIFA World Cup, participate in interactive displays and enjoy other entertainment.
"This year's FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola is bigger and better than ever before," Emmanuel Seuge, group director, worldwide sports and entertainment marketing for Coca-Cola, said in a statement. "The first Trophy Tour in 2006 was a huge success and we're delighted that we're going to give even more fans the chance to get close to the real trophy. We're especially looking forward to taking the trophy to every single country in Africa." Coca-Cola has had a formal association with FIFA since 1974 and has been an official sponsorship of FIFA World Cup since 1978.