02 Jul 2014

Brazil’s amazing opportunity to benefit all through sport

0 Comment

By Ronald Carvalho and Jill Pilgrim

With all eyes on Brazil for this month’s 2014 FIFA World Cup (and the Olympics in 2016), here is the latest post from Precise Advisory Group’s Ronald Carvalho and Jill Pilgrim. Ronald is based in Brazil and also shares some in-country perspectives and insights into the staging of his country’s hosting of two of the world’s biggest sporting events: the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

Let’s be practical and open-hearted. We Brazilians know everything about football (soccer) in Brazil. Our arenas, new or refurbished, are among the best in the world. Our teams are rich and powerful. Our players, you know, are the best… at least, that’s how we feel.

Alas… there is always a but. What do we know about sports in general that could lead to Olympic Games as good as our FIFA World Cup? Not much I must admit.

We need help. Not only in the technical side, but also with better performance of our athletes. Not only with marketing and event organization, but also with legal advice, for instance, in anti-doping and anti-corruption. Brazil needs assistance in all of these areas. It’s not a weakness to ask for help; that is a sign of strength.

There are others around the world – especially Americans – who know the traditions of as well as the breath and depth of the various Olympic sports better than most countries. That’s why consultants, lawyers and marketing advisors from the U.S. and abroad should be welcomed with open arms – or perhaps sought after, actually — to help with Brazil’s Olympic hosting duties. That is, as soon as we get over our country’s World Cup hangover.

And that’s exactly what our American-Brazilian team at Precise Advisory Group has been doing of late and looks to doing more in the future. We’ve been in discussions with a variety of planners, organizers and leaders in Brazil over the last few years to share expertise on how in-country efforts can be improved upon in order to make the Games a win-win for the wonderful people and country of Brazil.

There remain many challenges.

Now let’s look at this from a non-Brazilian perspective. The world media and many economically disadvantaged Brazilians are criticizing Brazil for the the enormous amounts of money spent on our World Cup. Much of this will not benefit the poorer brackets of the population in a country like Brazil. Others might argue that the little trickel down of money from the World Cup to the poorer regions of Brazil, while not as large as hoped, would not have happened at all without the World Cup and Olympic Games being in Brazil.

Perhaps such statements are not giving credit to Brazilian government efforts to bolster the middle class that pre-dated the award of these two major sporting events. With this thought, we now are taking that inevitable slippery slope from sports talk to political talk. No matter what the Olympic Charter aspires to, there can be no major sporting event anywhere in the world without political influence and support and socio-economic impact and implications.

Perhaps Brazil can look to countries like the USA and borrow some ideas about how all sports – not just soccer – can be incorporated into the fabric of urban and rural societies in Brazil. For this to occur, Brazil may need to learn, create and enhance new sporting habits related to youth sports, parental participation and volunteerism.

It’s time to ask for help. A grand opportunity awaits Brazil to shine brighter in 2016!

If you are interested in creating or enhancing sports business initiatives in Brazil, let’s start the discussions today. We’re here to help you succeed.

About the Author