Category : brazil

  • #ChangeBrazil: The Implications For Brands & Sponsorship

    This content was originally posted as our contribution to Synergy Sponsorship´s blog. You can find the original link here. Find out more about our partnership with Synergy here.

    by Bruno Scartozzoni and Guilherme Guimarães

    As Tom Jobim, the great Brazilian musician and composer said, “Brazil is not for beginners”.

    When Brazil entered the new democratic period in the mid 1980s, it started to change quickly. Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the intellectual president from the social democrat party, took control of hyperinflation, opened the Brazilian economy, reduced government participation in the economy and started important reforms in order to rationalize the state. This was essential to the next phase, when Lula, the charismatic president from the labour party, created all kinds of social programs, giving power of purchase to poor people for the first time in Brazil’s history.

    These elements awoke the Brazilian internal market of people hungry for consumption, and, in simple words, that’s the reason why the 2008 global crisis didn’t hit Brazil as hard as it did the rest of the world. And then, suddenly, Brazil was on everybody’s radar, for successful World Cup and Olympics bids.

    Now comes the bad part of this story.

    Despite the economic progress of the last 20 years, our politicians did not achieve other important goals desired by Brazilians.

    In contrast to our status as the sixth biggest economy in the world, our public services, especially health, education and security, are at the opposite end of the scale. Add to this corruption scandals with no prosecutions and one of the most unequal distributions of wealth in the world and you have the full picture.

    The Protests

    On 3 June a small leftist group called MPL – Movimento Passe Livre (Free Transport Movement) – which campaigns for free public transport in Brazil’s cities, started protests when the new São Paulo mayor announced a R$0,20 (US$0,09) raise in bus, subway and train ticket prices. To start with, most of the population didn’t care less about it, but each day the campaigners managed to congregate more and more people.

    The turning point came on June 13, when policemen treated the protesters with disproportionate force, which triggered the population to use the R$0.20 increase as a symbol for something much bigger. It started to represent the poor public services, corrupt politicians, and the threat of hyper inflation. And just like the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring, social media played a crucial role in scaling the protests and the protest ecosystem: suddenly politics became the only subject that mattered on Facebook and Twitter, which is really new for Brazil.

    Coincidentally (or not) it all peaked at the beginning of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.

    For some time Brazilians had been saying in a resigned way ‘Imagina na Copa’, meaning ‘If it’s this bad now, imagine what it will be like during the World Cup’. Looking back, with the benefit of hindsight, it’s not surprising this grew into the protests.

    The cost of the new and re-built World Cup stadiums had steadily risen from initial estimates and is more than the last three World Cups combined. They are being paid for by public money, in contrast to the promise, when Brazil won the right to stage the World Cup, that they would be privately funded. Add to that that other improvements linked to the World Cup and promised by government like new subway lines will not be ready by 2014, together with the poor reputations of the CBF and FIFA, and you have a time bomb.

    It exploded on June 17, with protests in every major Brazilian city, which are now happening every day and night. In the streets and on social media, people started saying Brazil not only wants stadiums, but also health and education to “FIFA standards”.

    It’s difficult to predict how and when #ChangeBrazil will end. Ticket raises are being cancelled by the minute, and the President has promised new infrastructure investment and a referendum on political reform, but people are going to the streets anyway. It’s the biggest social movement in the country’s recent history, and probably the first one above party political interests. As the population is claiming, it is democratic, mostly peaceful (until now) and beautiful!

    Brands And The Protests

    The most visible impact of the protests on brands is that some of the protests’ most-used slogans have been adapted from recent brand campaigns.

    Johnnie Walker’s ‘O Gigande Acordou’ (‘The giant is awake’) campaign showed the famous Sugar Loaf Mountain standing up and walking. The line was a reference to Brazilians’ commonly-held view that Brazil is a giant sleeping eternally.

    Fiat used ‘Vem Pa Rua’ (‘Come To The Streets’) as its line in a football-themed campaign to ambush the Confederations Cup (they are not FIFA sponsors).

    And Vick, the cough drops brand, were also trying to hijack the Confederation Cup, by promoting the hashtag #chupaessa (#suckthis) on Twitter.

    As soon as the protests started, people h-jacked these brand slogans, all of which became part of the movement, used in placards on the streets, and on Facebook and Twitter.

    There are also examples of brands actively using #ChangeBrazil in their communication.

    In fact, almost everyone is doing something about it on Facebook, most of them being more conservative, with generic patriotic posts.

    Stores near Paulista Avenue, the epicenter of #ChangeBrazil, are using the movement’s elements in their displays. Store owners said that they are trying to engage with the moment and avoid looting.

    However, the most interesting #ChangeBrazil ‘activation’ so far has been by Spoleto, a big Italian fast food chain from Grupo Trigo, who license Domino’s Pizza in Brazil. They released a manifesto on their Facebook fanpage, basically saying that they would be opening that space for political discussion, and any brand activation would would be ceased for a week.

    The discussion in advertising forums is about the possibility of brands taking a clear stand. Should they? Fiat thought it was better to leave the conversation and ended their campaign ‘as planned’ on June 22. Spoleto went the other way.

    It will be interesting as well to see which way Brahma will go. The beer brand, which is a World Cup sponsor, was one of the few sponsors meaningfully activating the World Cup association in Brazil, and the only one positioning itself around discussions of the World Cup being good or bad for the country. Last year they released a very emotional and positive campaign telling Brazilians to care less about problems and imagine the party that will take place in 2014. It was a bold move, and divided public opinion.

    Will they stand for this message after #ChangeBrazil? It’s another question impossible to predict, but they could broaden the optimistic message. “Imagine the party. Imagine a new (better) country.”

    FIFA, Big Sport and The Protests

    As #ChangeBrazil is partly a reaction to the government’s astronomic spending on the World Cup, many in the international media have questioned Brazilians’ attitude to the World Cup (especially) and the Olympics.

    In fact, most Brazilians don’t think the World Cup and the Olympics are the problem. Most dreamed about hosting a World Cup again, and the Olympics are welcome too. Winning the bids is a proof that the world is finally taking us seriously, and it’s very nice for everyone’s ego!

    The problem is how the events were ‘sold’ to the Brazilian public, the reality of our infrastructure versus the huge spending on the World Cup, and, as David Owen wrote recently, the evident complacency of FIFA and ‘Big Sport’.

    As probably everyone in the world knows now, FIFA has got its PR strategy totally wrong in Brazil, notably when Sepp Blatter told protestors that they should not link their grievances to football, whilst at the same time Neymar was so visibly supporting the protests, and Paolo Andre, the former Corinthians player, recalled that football had been used as a tool of mass control in the past, but now it was the people’s turn to use sport to call attention to their demands.

    From here, it’s difficult to see how FIFA can recover its image in Brazil in time for the World Cup, which obviously has big implications for all the FIFA sponsors, who’ll now need to re-think their activation strategies in Brazil.

    #ChangeBrazil: 10 Action Points For Brands & Sponsorship

    1. Brazil’s sense of its identity is changing very fast, and more than ever before, brands – both Brazilian and international – will need to listen to consumers and re-think their positioning and messaging. Brazilian values have always been attached to happiness, being easygoing, hard-working and, of course, the ultimate clichés: samba, beaches and football. This kind of thing still reflects what Brazil is, but June 2013 has changed it, evolved it, and made it much more complex.

    2. An example is what’s happening now. People still care about the performance of the Brazilian team in the Confederations Cup, but conversations in bars are split between football and politics, and this is new, very new.

    3. Now it’s clear that Brazilians are deeply concerned about social issues, which means that brands will need to increase their CSR efforts, especially if they are going to try to wave the Brazilian flag . Those that already have strong CSR credentials have a big advantage: those that don’t have to move very, very fast to have permission to do business in Brazil, let alone marketing.

    4. There is lots of white space to integrate sports with CSR in Brazil. We expect to see a big increase in sponsorship of social development programmes and Paralympic sports, for example, but there’s plenty of room in other causes too.

    5. CSR campaigns don’t need to be dull. As we wrote recently, there have been some amazing campaigns fusing sport and CSR in Brazil in the last year or so, one of which recently won one of the top awards inCannes.

    6. Celebrities who are out of touch with #ChangeBrazil are a real risk for brands. The untouchables Pele and Ronaldo lost huge credibility with Brazilians after poorly chosen words about the protests – although to be fair Ronaldo’s were said in 2011. Conversely, others such as David Luiz, Dani Alves, and volleyball player Bruno Resende are in the ascendant after stating they were worried about their performance, but that they were proud and concerned about the Brazilians on the streets.

    7. Naming rights sponsorship has started to gain momentum this year and looks likely to keep growing. But brands will be wary of the downsides of associating themselves with ‘FIFA’ stadiums, especially the three potential white elephants in Brasília, Cuiaba and Manaus.

    8. Brazilians have discovered social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, as the modern Agora, and that has huge implications and opportunities for brands in Brazil, who activate sponsorships very little in social channels compared to traditional media, especially TV.

    9. FIFA sponsors will need to work harder than anybody, but especially in social as their fanpages are suffering daily attacks by consumers.

    10. Olympic sponsors have a big advantage. They can watch and learn from FIFA sponsors’ efforts next year, and adapt accordingly for Rio 2016. But how long will it be before the protests turn their attention from World Cup budgets and FIFA to Rio 2016′s budgets and the IOC?

    Bruno and Guilherme are partners at Ativa Esporte, the Brazilian sports marketing consultancy which is Synergy’s partner in Brazil.

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  • Neymarketing – Brands, Brazil and White Space

    This content was originally posted as our contribution to Synergy Sponsorship´s blog. You can find the original link here. Find out more about our partnership with Synergy here.


    by Bruno Scartozzoni and Guilherme Guimarães

    Alongside the 2014 FIFA World CupNeymar has been the biggest news in Brazilian football in the last few years, and one of the hottest topics in Brazilian advertising and marketing too. And now, with his move from Santos to to Barcelona, his stage has moved from Brazil to Europe and, maybe, the world.

    Neymar is part of a generation of Brazilian players that, despite some very talented names, lacks the quality of Romário, Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho. He is still too young to already be considered part of this pantheon, but Brazilians hope he will get there soon.

    On the other hand, Neymar is already a phenomenon in Brazilian brand marketing. It’s almost impossible to turn the TV on in Brazil and not encounter him. He is everywhere, in every category: NikePanasonic,UnileverVolkswagenSantander and six other brands currently count on Neymar´s image to drive their brand and business in Brazil. And now, according to his new management, his next target is international budgets.

    Mentos, the confectionary brand, was the most recent to announce Neymar as its face in Brazil. They did it last week, at the same time he was signing the contract with Barcelona. Asked about the fact that the player was leaving Brazil, Henrique Veloso Romero, the company’s president, said that it didn’t matter where he’s living or playing, because Mentos is associating its brand with Neymar’s story.

    Neymar Mentos

    Actually, Neymar’s story is part of a traditional Brazilian fairytale of the poor boy who becomes a global football star. The same thing happened to Pelé, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, and all of them got the attention of Brazilian consumers. That’s the reason why the Brazilian media is doing 24/7 coverage of Neymar´s new life in Barcelona: the arrival at the airport, the clothes he is wearing, the Spanish fans, his girlfriend’s reactions, and so on. In this context his football skills appear to be secondary.

    No one can question Neymar’s appeal to brands and consumers. He has a good story to tell, bags of charisma, and the skills to score goals and deal with the media at the same time. The problem is that so far no brand has found some white space within the Neymar brand to communicate something unique and different. He is everywhere, but he is always doing the same kinds of testimonial and campaign.


    Brand managers must consider that Neymar is an asset that carries some very characteristic values – goals, youth, irreverence, parties, beautiful women, trendy hairstyle, fairytale story etc. – but that these values can’t apply to every possible brand, category and strategy, especially when so many other brands are using him in the same way.

    And there are alternatives! A recent survey asked Brazilians which values footballer and non-footballer athletes convey, and the results were very interesting. Football players are usually associated with popular values and a Brazilian spirit. On the other side, athletes excluding football are more associated with trust, intelligence, beauty, modernity, and dressing well. Of course Neymar is an exception and can bring many of these values with him, but this research proves that football and football players – in particular Neymar – are not always the answer to brands looking to work with sports in Brazil.

    Note: Neymarketing is a term coined by our friend and partner Tim Crow.

    Bruno and Guilherme are partners at Ativa Esporte, the Brazilian sports marketing consultancy which is Synergy’s partner in Brazil.

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  • Social development through football – a Brazilian perspective

    This content was originally posted as our contribution to Synergy Sponsorship´s blog. You can find the original link here. Find out more about our partnership with Synergy here.


    by Bruno Scartozzoni and Guilherme Guimarães

    Inevitably, the international headlines about Brazil tend to focus on our remarkable social and economic development over the last twenty years, but there are many other things that one needs to understand about the country. Yes, Brazil is a great country, and it’s getting better, but there are a lot of unsolved problems, especially in social development.

    This explains in part why the Brazilian sports industry has been able to create great campaigns using football, our main passion, as a way to make people aware of important causes.

    We referenced one of these brilliant ideas, ‘My Blood Is Red And Black’, in our Top 5 Brazilian Sports Marketing Campaigns Of 2012Penalty, the Brazilian sports brand, and Vitória, the red and black football club from Bahia, replaced the red in the team’s strip for white, and asked supporters to donate blood. Blood donation increased by 45% in the city and the red stripes returned. Very recently, Penalty won a New York Festivals International Advertising Award Grand Trophy for this brilliant activation.



    This year WWF wanted to alert Brazilians to the fact that every four minutes an area equivalent to the size of a football pitch is deforested in the country. During the broadcast of a Brazilian women’s national team match, the green grass started to turn brown. It took 4 minutes to transform the whole pitch in a ‘deforested area’ through special effects. In the end, a caption on screen explained everything to the audience, and WWF websites visits increased by 73%.



    Another campaign we love is from our neighbours Paraguay. They too, have a lot of social issues. In particular, around 25% of Paraguayan children aged 4 or under are not registered – in other words, they don’t have an official identity, which is a huge problem. So, during a 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match against Uruguay, in an agreement with UNICEF, the main local TV channels and radio stations broadcast the initial minutes without saying names. Each player was just a number. After some time the commentators explained what it was about. This campaign occurred during the presidential elections, and resulted in the two main candidates promising to address the matter.



    Brazil and Latin America have a huge potential to address social issues through sport. Clubs, athletes, governing bodies, sponsors, media, and NGOs should work together and create more campaigns like these. Of course, sport won’t solve everything, but it can be a great kick-off to drive awareness and create a pathway to action.

    Bruno and Guilherme are partners at Ativa Esporte, the Brazilian sports marketing consultancy which is Synergy’s partner in Brazil.

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  • Is Naming Rights Sponsorship In Brazil About To Take Off?

    This content was originally posted as our contribution to Synergy Sponsorship´s blog. You can find the original link here. Find out more about our partnership with Synergy here.


    by Bruno Scartozzoni and Guilherme Guimarães

    Earlier this month it was announced that Itaipava, the third biggest beer company in Brazil, had become the naming rights sponsor of Arena Fonte Nova, the 2014 World Cup stadium for Salvador in north-eastern Brazil, and the first of the new generation of Brazilian sports arenas to successfully sell its naming rights sponsorship.

    Despite several previous naming rights sponsorships of concert venues and movie theaters, naming rights sponsorship in sports is still rare in Brazil. Prior to the Itaipava Arena, the only other Brazilian football stadium to have a branded name was Kyocera Arena, of Atlético-Paranaense in Paraná, which was sponsored from 2005 for R$2m per year but discontinued after 2008.

    The main reason for this is that Globo, the dominant Brazilian TV network, has a policy of not using brand names in its sports coverage. It’s a policy applied to almost everything it covers, and brands usually cite this as a reason why naming rights sponsorship in Brazil is a poor investment.

    Just after the Itaipava announcement, for example, Visa’s Ricardo Fort tweeted

    Globo is considering changing its ‘no brands’ policy, on the condition that it receives a percentage of every contract involved. If it happens, this would fuel the naming rights market in Brazil, but Itaipava had other reasons for naming the Arena Fonte Nova. Primarily, Itaipava is opening a new factory in Bahia, close to Salvador, and naming the region’s most important stadium is part of its strategy to connect with local consumers, engage staff and steal marketshare from its main rivals Ambev and Kirin Schin. But also, the deal ambushes Ambev’s FIFA World Cup sponsorship, especially if Itaipava can make the new stadium name stick with consumers and thus sidestep FIFA’s policy of de-branding sponsored stadiums which host World Cup matches.

    Another interesting fact is the Itaipava Arena financial details: R$ 10 million per year over 10 years – almost 70% more than most estimates expected.

    Now, there are strong rumours in the media that Itaipava and Allianz are negotiating to name Corinthians’ new stadium in São Paulo for a R$400 million investment (R$20 million per year for 20 years), with Allianz looking most likely.

    So it seems the naming rights market in Brazil could be about to take off, and that companies are starting to understand that there is much more to it than brand visibility. But the big question, as we’ve said before, is can sponsors make it pay back?

    Bruno and Guilherme are partners at Ativa Esporte, the Brazilian sports marketing consultancy which is Synergy’s partner in Brazil.

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  • Brazil 2014: Under 500 Days And Counting

    This content was originally posted as our contribution to Synergy Sponsorship´s blog. You can find the original link here. Find out more about our partnership with Synergy here.

    Last week FIFA and the Brazilian government were going to celebrate 500 days to go to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, with a big press conference to present their aspirations for the tournament, a lot of facts and figures related to the investment in stadia and infrastructure, and the official tournament poster. Naturally however, the event was cancelled because of the Santa Maria tragedy, where over 200 people died in a fire at a local nightclub. It shocked the country and the world, and celebrations were the last thing on any Brazilian’s mind.

    Three days later, an official video with a compilation of work to date was released, together with the tournament poster (pictured above).

    Brazil is now within touching distance of hosting the FIFA World Cup for the second time in the country’s history (the first being back in 1950) but interestingly, the man on the street is feeling both excited and slightly concerned at the same time. In spite of constant reassurance from the government that everything will be ready by the kick-off in 2014, the average Brazilian still has a lot of doubts.

    Whilst there are some very big players working on the organization and infrastructure, corruption scandals in the past mean the people are still rather sceptical. Right now only two venues are complete, and the original budget has increased significantly.

    That said, there is also some good news for the people. Mano Menezes, the former Brazil Team manager, who had the backing of neither media nor fans, has been sacked, and replaced by Luiz Felipe Scolari. ‘Big Phil’ took the Seleção to glory at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and the Brazilian people still regard him as a winner.

    What strikes us the most is that up until now almost every FIFA World Cup sponsor has been very quiet. The most active of the group is Brahma (the local AB InBev beer brand), which has launched a campaign to fight any ‘national pessimism’. The brand reminds consumers that Brazil is going to stage the biggest party in history, and that any cynicism or worries will be long forgotten. This activation featured in our list ofthe top 5 Brasilian sports marketing campaigns of 2012 back in December.

    Itaú, the country’s biggest private bank, also began their World Cup 2014 campaign last year, but have, so far, failed to create the same kind of buzz generated by Brahma.

    With the FIFA Confederations Cup approaching fast, and a new ticket sales record just set, it is clear that there’s palpable excitement amongst Brazilians about the upcoming events. We might like to criticize our country, but that’s just a cultural thing: most importantly, we are also very proud of hosting these global events. So, for brands there’s plenty of scope to take advantage of this warmth.

    For most Brazilians hosting the World Cup is a dream, and 500 days from now the dream will come true!

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  • Mascots, wasted potential

    This picture was taken earlier this year, at the Mascots Race, an event organized by the English Championship, Division 1 and Division 2.

    This event takes place annually and is part of a calendar to promote their social cause, which this year is prostate cancer. The 2012 winner, by the way, was Yorkie Lion, from York City.

    More than a nice promotion (it´s impossible to disagree that the mascots in the picture are really cute), it shows how lower tier clubs can articulate around their properties. Together, their appeal increases quite a lot.

    In Brazil, Esporte Espetacular, Globo´s main sports show, aired a “Mascots´ Olympics”, with the main Brazilian clubs, in 2010.

    There is also the mascots race in Olinda´s carnival, with the clubs from Pernambuco.

    Mascots have a great potential if embraced by clubs and/or sponsors. In Brazil, unfortunately, there aren´t as many good examples…

    Mascots Race via Futebol Marketing

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  • I want to see during the World Cup

    “I want to see during the World Cup” is a brazilian meme that express how people feel about the lack of infra-structure, politics corruption and general distrust about World Cup 2014. For example, if there is a problem in a subway station or at the airport, someone will say “I want to see during the World Cup”.

    The truth is that many brazilians don´t believe that we will be able to deliver a great event to the world. And, unfortunately, we have histortical reasons for that. In the end everything is gonna be alright, but the path has had its bumps.

    The news is that a group of social activists is trying to look from another point of view. They are launching a crowdfunded project called “I want to see in the World Cup”, which is an online platform that will congregate social projects from the whole country, showing how this World Cup can be good to Brazil. They want this to inspire new people and new projects.

    This kind of initiative shows an optimistic path for brands that want to talk about the World Cup in a more institutional and less sportive way. In other words, more about social development and less about the game itself. Yes, it´s possible.

    And you? What kind of Brazil do you want to see during the World Cup?
    (the video below is the project presentation, in portuguese)

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  • Lessons from London 2012 for Rio 2016

    Ativa Esporte has recently closed a partnership with Synergy, one of the most relevant sports marketing agencies in the world. During London 2012 we contributed to Synergy´s blog posting the view from Brazil of the Olympics.

    This is the third and last post, originally published on August 10th 2012.

    In the London 2012 closing ceremony, Brazil enjoyed the traditional eight minutes accorded to the Games’ next hosts  to symbolise the handover from London to Rio and present the spirit of Rio 2016 to the world. It was a great show with some Brazilian music and sports stars, and the overall reaction was very positive. Yes there were clichés like samba and carnival, but they also created a great mix of Brazilian traditional and modern culture elements.

    The spirit of the Rio Games evoked by Rio’s section in the London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony (Xinhua/Photoshoot)

    Those eight minutes marked the passage between the events, and now the Olympic flag is officially with Brazil. For us it´s time to look to the past, London 2012, to create the future, Rio 2016. What can we learn from the results to use in the next four years?

    Brazil won three gold medals as in Beijing 2008, along with five silvers and nine bronzes, a total of  17, two more than in Beijing. The women´s volleyball team, already national heroes, won their second gold medal in a row. But the other two gold medals were surprising, which created new Brazilian sports icons: Sarah Menezes in judo and Arthur Zanetti in gymnastics.

    Sarah Menezes on the podium after taking judo gold for Brazil at London 2012

    The silvers and bronzes also created new Brazilian heroes. Esquiva Falcão and Yamaguchi Falcão, two brothers, won silver and bronze in boxing, and Adriana Araújo took bronze in the women´s boxing. Those were the first medals in boxing since 1968 for the country. Yane Marques’ bronze medal in the final event of the Games was another great surprise, as the modern pentathlon is virtually unknown here.

    On the other hand Brazil also had some disappointments. The biggest one was the silver medal in men´s football. We had never won a gold medal in our most popular and successful sport and the expectations were very high. Silver tasted like iron. Swimming, sailing, equestrianism, athletics, and beach volleyball all disappointed too. As a result, the government announced $700m of investment in elite sport in the next 4 years with the ambition of achieving a top 10 place in Rio.

    “Silver tasted like iron”. Brazil’s footballers are distraught after losing to Mexico in the London 2012 football final

    Back to marketing, there is a clear path for sponsors to look fondly to other Olympic sports, besides football. Other team sports, for cultural reasons, have an enormous potential. Volleyball is the second most popular sport. Basketball was big in the past and is rising again. Handball and rugby are growing fast. And our London 2012 medallists also point the way for brands to sponsor less traditional sports like gymnastics, boxing, and modern pentathlon. And finally there’s acres of white space for companies prepared to embrace the unknown, and take ownership of sports that are almost non-existent in Brazil such as hockey and badminton.

    Be brave, Brand Brazil!

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  • How Brands are Activating London 2012 in Brazil

    Ativa Esporte has recently closed a partnership with Synergy, one of the most relevant sports marketing agencies in the world. During London 2012 we contributed to Synergy´s blog posting the view from Brazil of the Olympics.

    This is the second post, originally published on August 10th 2012.

    When we were thinking of what to write about how Olympic sponsors were activating in Brazil around London 2012,  we felt this post would be short! The truth is, for several reasons, this is one of the less activated Olympic Games here.

    Both brands and consumers seem to already be so focused on the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics that sponsors seem mostly to have passed on London 2012. And don’t get us wrong, brands do have a tradition of Olympics activation in Brazil. But this year, things are different.

    Here are brands in Brazil doing the best job of activating London 2012.

    P&G has used its ‘Thank You Mom’ Olympics campaign and is also activating at retail. Their message has resonated strongly with Brazilians’ hearts and minds.

    Coca-Cola re-edited a famous promotion from the 80s and 90s that gives consumers thousands of branded yo-yos, and made them Olympic themed. It’s a good move, but in our opinion a little conservative.

    Bradesco, the official bank of Rio 2016, is using Brazilian athletes. They have to think long term because their main competitor, Itaú, is a sponsor of the World Cup and is already using football strongly.

    Sadia, a Brazilian food brand, sponsors some Brazilian Olympic federations (judo, swimming and gymnastics) and created this video mixing sports with fantasy and videogames. For Brazilian sports sponsorship, it’s a very original approach.

    On the other side Burger King has fallen foul of the IOC by ambushing the Games using a promotion involving Brazilian gold medals. But ironically McDonald’s, the Games sponsor who objected to the campaign, are concentrating their marketing eforts here on an Ice Age 4 promotion.

    In summary, most brands here have failed to create something relevant to consumers using the Games. Almost every sponsor did some kind of activation, but, with a few exceptions, they’re not generating much buzz.

    Should they have used London 2012 as a link to Rio 2016? We think so. An opportunity missed.

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  • London 2012 – The View From Brazil

    Ativa Esporte has recently made a partnership with Synergy, one of the most relevant sports marketing agencies in the United Kingdom and the world.

    During London 2012 we contributed to Synergy´s blog posting some thoughts about brazilian point of view.

    This is the first post, originally published on August 2nd 2012.

     Brazilians on Copacabana beach celebrate Rio winning the 2016 Games (AP/Silvia Izquierdo)


    As well as the medals Brazil wins, we are naturally taking a big interest in London 2012 to see what we have to follow. We can’t deny, our heads are already in 2014 and 2016!

    Brazilians are following London 2012 in a very new way. For the first time in recent history, the Olympics is not being broadcast by Rede Globo over free-to-air TV. For those not familiar with the Brazilian media landscape, Globo is one of the top 4 media conglomerates on the planet, known worldwide for the quality of its delivery. It has also been the dominant media channel in Brazil for decades, regularly attracting huge nightly audiences. Brazilians joke that if something isn’t news on Globo, then it isn’t news at all.

    When the London 2012 broadcast rights in Brazil bid were tendered years ago, Rede Record made a daring move, outbidding Globo for the free-to-air TV exclusive rights. This was a huge development in media competition in Brazil, but it came with implications.

    Some athletes and sports governing bodies have complained (some more, some less vocally) that, despite alternating in the audience rankings between 2nd and 3rd places, Record’s reach is far smaller than Globo’s. So, in practical terms, London 2012 became less valuable as a marketing platform, so it can be said there is actually less engagement (natural or forced) from the media, and the public, than is normally the case with the Olympics.

    Before the Games, Rede Record tried to pacify stakeholders, promising a great broadcast. One week later Brazilians are engaging with the games, but not primarily via Record. On the first Sunday of London 2012, Record ranked only third among free-to-air channels in Sao Paulo with 1.1 million viewers, losing out to Globo, with 2 million, and also SBT, a more popular channel which is famous for importing Mexican soap operas, with 1.3 million. Terra’s free HD broadcast over the web is also helping Brazilians engage with the Games, especially during business hours.

    In this scenario, brands are being challenged to create alternatives to enable consumers to engage with the Games. Step forward – social media!

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