Shops on ball with World Cup

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 July, 2006, 12:00am

AS HONG KONG'S shopping centres face increasingly intensive competition to attract customers, many have gone to extraordinary lengths to capitalise on the 2006 World Cup and other big events.

Olympian City is running a range of World Cup activities until July 21. These include special shuttle buses and indoor seating for about 2,000 people with giant plasma TV screens showing live matches. Viewers get free ice cream and popcorn, and access to massage chairs.

Drinks and foot massages are also available, as is an exclusive 'hotel' service for diehard fans who stay overnight, including a tent, maid service with shoe-shine, jacket pressing, a wake-up call at 7am followed by a healthy, high-fibre breakfast. Celebrity guests and professional commentators round off the package.

Not to be outdone, Langham Place has also launched a series of promotional activities for the World Cup.

The '9-Grid Goal' soccer game is for anyone who spends $200 or more in the mall. Contestants must kick a ball into the goal within 30 seconds. Winners get a DVD or LCD TV.

There is also a charity auction of footballs signed by celebrities with all proceeds going to the Children's Cancer Fund, and a gigantic seven-foot football as a backdrop for family photos. The mall offers live broadcasts of most matches and highlights.