By Patrick Avenell
Sony Australia and its media agency Hausmann Communications last night (Apr 1) hosted journalists at the 2010 World Cup Qualifier between Australia and Uzbekistan. It was a night of traffic, laughter, rain, some more rain and football.
As a major global supporter of the World Cup in South Africa next year, Sony is currently pushing its football credentials. It is using Brazilian superstar Kaka to promote its Bravia LCD screens and is the major sponsor of the Wellington Phoenix A-League team. Yesterday’s event represents another pin in its hat.
The event kicked-off when guests congregated at Hausmann’s funky Oxford Street offices shortly after close of business for a quick Peroni (definitely the in beer with PR these days) before loading into a MaxiTaxi for the trip to Homebush.
According to Google Maps, the trip should have taken 37 minutes, but the confluence of traffic with several newly formed rivers stretched the journey out to 80 minutes. It must be noted, however, that no one seemed to notice the ennui until we ran out of refreshments.
Upon alighting at the Olympic stadium, guests recreated Cathy Freeman’s famous 400m run, albeit outside the stadium, as they looked to find Gate B. Just as the anthems were wrapping up, the group took its seats in the pouring rain.
Some journos scrounged around for plastic ponchos, others redesigned their umbrella for partial protection, while one attendee chose to warm himself only with the pride of wearing his Australian Gold replica jersey.
The first half was a turgid affair, with Australia’s 4-5-1 and the Uzbek’s 4-6-0 resulting in the ball rarely leaving midfield. In the second half, the jetlag and unfavourable conditions began to affect the Uzbeks and they were pushed further and further back toward their 18-yard line. Josh Kennedy came on for the poor Scott McDonald and gave Australia the lead on 66 minutes. Harry Kewell doubled Australia’s lead from the spot seven minutes later and the three points were safe.
Back in the stands, the rain was torrential, not unlike what Tim Cahill would be used to at Everton. But with good company and some watered-down stadium beer, the low-key but high intensity event still proved a success for Sony.
Unfortunately, journalists present didn’t get a chance to speak with local boss Carl Rose, though he did wave to the group from his corporate box.