Category : editorial

  • 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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  • Seven Golden Rules Of Naming Rights Sponsorship For Brands

    This post was originally published on Mundo do Marketing in portuguese and was adapted from our partner Tim Crow´s article “Why There Are Now Six Golden Rules Of Naming Rights Sponsorship For Brands“.

    Very recently some Brazilian football clubs announced that their arena´s naming rights were on sale. In Brazil this kind of sponsorship is very common in movie theatres and music venues, but it´s taking the first steps in the sports world.

    Atlético Paranaense was a pioneer in 2005, when they sold their arena´s name to Kyocera. But, three years later, the contract was not renewed and, since then, the club wasn’t able to sell this property to any other sponsor. So, what´s the reason why brands in Brazil do not seem to be interested in sports arenas’ naming rights?

    Some time ago our friend Tim Crow, Synergy Sponsorship´s CEO, wrote a nice post with his 6 golden rules of naming rights. The post was focused in the European market, and we “tropicalized” these rules, adapting to the Brazilian reality. That´s why we have seven rules instead of six.

    1. The stadium should have a short name only. If it has two names, one of them being the sponsor brand, guess which the media and fans will cut. Good examples are The Reebok Stadium, Bolton Wanderes´ home, and The Emirates, Arsenal´s home. These two work well. On the other side you will find Jame´s Park, Newcastle´s home. What’s the chance of somebody pronouncing the entire name?

    2. It´s clever to avoid renaming a traditional stadium. If you do the media and fans will probably cut your name. In other words, it´s a lot easier to start with a new stadium. This rule explains the reason why Brazilian brands appear to avoid naming some local stadiums. On the other side, it is a good opportunity for the new stadiums being built for the World Cup 2014.

    3. The exception to rule 2 is when a stadium doesn´t have appeal with the fans or is declining for some reason and, as a result, needs to be re-launched. In England, the Millennium Dome, an exhibition venue that never conquered consumers’ hearts, was recently re-launched as “The O2″. In the same way, Corinthians, the Brazilian football club, could upgrade its traditional “Fazendinha” (Tiny Farm), and a new name could do well.

    4. The sponsor should pay enough for the naming right, and the main problem of not doing so is that the media and the fans can interpret this as bad faith. In England there was a case when the sponsor paid only £ 150,000 per year to guarantee naming an arena, a very small amount of money in comparison to the expensive TV campaigns produced by the company. Fans didn´t like it. In Brazil, the average fan wouldn’t probably acknowledge such a detail, but they are starting to be picky with which brands they want to see associated with their club.

    5. The brand should bet on long term due to two reasons: it demonstrates a commitment to the club and the ROI will be a lot bigger. Besides that, the media and the fans need some time to get used to the new name.

    6. It´s not clever to rename a stadium that already has a nickname. Ideally, the nickname should be part of the naming strategy. Recently, Corinthians announced its new stadium for the 2014 World Cup, at it was automatically named “Itaquerão” (from the neighborhood where it is located). The nickname has been adopted by media and fans, even before the stadium is ready, and the club is having a hard time finding a naming partner.

    7. After following rules 1 to 6, then the hard work really begins – earning respect and admiration from the fans and media, what is only possible with activation and creativity.

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  • The Top 5 Brazilian Sports Marketing Campaigns Of 2012

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

    2012 was a landmark year for sports marketing in Brazil. London 2012 handed the Olympic and Paralympic baton to Rio 2016Corinthians won the Copa Libertadores and the FIFA Club World Cup, and with the 2014 FIFA World Cup now less than 2 years away, it’s really starting to feel like Brazil is the sports marketing capital of the world.

    To mark the end of the year and give you a taste of the best of Brazilian sports marketing, we’ve put together our five favourite campaigns of 2012. As Brazilians, we make no apologies for the fact that they’re all football!


    Vitória, one of north-east Brazil’s main clubs, has a traditional jersey, striped in red and black. Nowadays, it is manufactured by Penalty, the Brazilian sports brand.

    Penalty embraced Vitória fans’ motto “My blood is red and black” to create a social campaign. In order to increase blood donation among the fans, they turned the red stripes white and Vitória fans were incentivized to donate blood in specific locations to give the red back to the jersey. Every match the team jersey got one red stripe back.

    In the end, the team shirt was back to normal.



    This year the Facebook page of Guaraná Antarctica, the Brazilian soft drink made from Amazonian fruit, reached 5 million followers, equal to the population of many countries. To celebrate this, Guaraná Antarctica created a special activation of the Brazilian national football team.

    Mano Menezes, the Brazilian coach at the time, invited young people to sublit a 1-minute video showing why they should play for the Guaraná Team. He then selected 12 players who played against Costa Rica’s U-20 team. Why Costa Rica? Because the country is the same size as Guaraná’s fanpage.

    The activation generated a lot of buzz – and the Guaraná Team won the match!


    Brazilians always dreamed about hosting a second World Cup, but, when it happened, the dream suddenly turned into a nightmare in Brazilians’ public consciousness. Since the announcement, people have been saying: “Imagina na Copa…” (“Think of it during the World Cup”) in a sarcastic way, meaning that the usual problems will be amplified during the event.

    Brahma, the number two Brazilian beer by market share and one of InBev’s international brands, embraced the cause against the pessimism with a campaign that showed a more positive point of view about the 2014 World Cup.

    In summary, the video below says that Brazil 2014 will be the biggest party ever, and that joy and happiness will triumph over pessimism and problems.



    Brazilian striker Bebeto created a unique and famous goal celebration at the World Cup 1994 to commemorate his son’s birth. If you didn’t see it at the time, you’ve definitely seen someone copying him since.

    This year, 18 years later, Volkswagen brought Bebeto and his son, Mattheus, back to promote the best-selling car in Brazil, the VW Gol (‘Goal’ in Portuguese). In 1994, Bebeto scored an important goal for Brazil, and now, he gives his son a ‘Gol’ just as he turns 18, the age at which people are allowed to drive in the country.



    Imagine that you bought tickets to watch Man United v Man City. You are in the stadium waiting for the game when you see Arsenal and Chelsea players entering the pitch. WTF?! In other words, no one understands what is happening. Then the referee whistles and a message is shown to the fans:

    “We haven’t invented insurance for calendar changes yet. But you can count on Zurich Insurance to take care of your properties, life and future.”

    Crazy! But it really happened in a Brazilian football game between Palmeiras and Santos. Minutes before the game, São Paulo and Corinthians, two of their main rivals, entered the pitch.

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  • Ativa Esporte at Wall Street Journal

    We don´t like to write posts about ourserlves, but, in this case, it is worth sharing.

    Guilherme Guimarães, Ativa Esporte´s general manager, was interviewed by Wall Street Journal in a piece about the brazilian football moment.

    You can read it here.

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  • Sports marketing is in the details

    The NBA and Dream Team star Lebron James recently bought shares of the group which controls Liverpool, the English football team.

    Lebron has a contract with Nike, including a sneakers collection endorsed by him. A new model based on the team, with the same colours and a dragon (very close to the one in the team badge), has just been released. Check it out:

    The link between the shoe and the club is very clear, but Nike does not confirm it. Actually, Nike can´t do it, and the main reason is that Liverpool is sponsored by Warrior, and until recently was sponsored by adidas. And there it goes the first question: why would a brand like Nike bring something that is owned by a competitor?

    The answer is simple, and this post is obviously not about a new sneaker model, but about a sophisticated logic that is being adopted by sports companies.

    Nike and adidas are both trying to explore its sponsored stars´ stories. A more organic monitoring of their lives take place of old standard advertising process. Brands which support athletes should celebrate their victories, overcoming episodes and personal interests, like Lebron and Liverpool.

    Another good example is the adidas´ mini-documentary made to celebrate Derick Rose´s return to the courts, after a long lasting injury. Sadly, after the documentary launch, the Chicago Bulls player got injured again, but, anyway, adidas showed how to support its stars:

    Doing this kind of thing demands attention to the athletes´ career steps. Thinking about Nike and adidas, we have to consider hundreds of them.

    On the other side we will find brands that sponsor few athletes, sometimes one or two, and most of the time don´t know how to activate them to amplify their campaigns.

    Sports brands are usually vanguard in using sports and athletes in advertising and marketing strategy, but the truth is that these examples open a clear path to any kind of company. In times of a more humanized advertising, an athletes´ journey can be a good call!

    picture via UGSoles

    news via Máquina do Esporte

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  • When sports meets culture

    Right after London 2012 closing ceremony Creative Review wrote a great post showing the best Olympic contributions to creativity in many fields, such as advertising, architecture, technology, design and even arts. We strongly recommend you to read it.

    Among all the items, the one that called our attention the most is the London 2012 video to present the brand new Velodrome. The design is inspired by Tron and the soundtrack is by Chemical Brothers. In other words, the final result is totally different of what we are used to see in sports events.

    It´s interesting to note that this video can also be considered as a music clip. It would be a high quality content even if it wasn´t related to London 2012. Pure entertainment with a lot of references from outside the sports universe, but that fit nicely.

    Take a look:

    We believe that advertising involving sports can (and should) go beyond it, adding other elements to achieve a richer result, capable of engaging and amaze.

    Another good example is the old Adidas campaign that mixed sports and pop culture, with stars at the iconic Star Wars cantina. We love it!

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  • Sports show how incredible we are

    This video show great images of people overcoming their limitations through sports.

    It´s an inspiration source for those of us who work with sports marketing.

    The connection between companies and sports go beyond brand visibility. Good sports marketing can cause the kind of sensation you had watching this video.

    Think about it.

    via Update or Die

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  • Kick Off

    Writing the first post for the Ativa Esporte (the company which I recently became partner[GG] of) blog is a difficult task.

    Should I write about how the company is cool? Who talks too much does too little.

    Should I write about sports marketing? All future posts will be about it. Not this time.

    Should I write about Brazil, World Cup and Olympics? I guess it´s very cliché.

    So I decided to write about my journey with Guilherme Guimarães. How did we get here? This may be cool for a first post.
    It started about seven years ago, in an agency where we worked together. He was an account manager, I was a planner. As we came to the agency in the same time, we ended up friends.

    Then the first projects came and, together, the first celebrations, frustrations and learnings. Fortunately more celebrations than frustrations and learnings. Within this period we had a case which we managed to win the most valuable bid in the history of the agency so far. We, both under 30, competing against more experienced players. I was wearing a football jersey while our opponents were in suit and tie.

    Then we went in different ways. I was studying and working with storytelling and transmedia, two issues very related to sports marketing, and lived experiences both as an entrepreneur and in other agencies. Guilherme did a Masters in sports marketing in England (University of Sheffield) and, back to Brazil, had great challenges, including working on the Rio 2016 bid comitee.

    In the middle of his journey Guilherme created Ativa Esporte as a blog and consultancy. This explains the 50+ posts before this one. Eventually, the idea of ​​building an agency in a model that does not exist in Brazil matured and gained partners, investors and interested people… until I received the invitation to join the group and embark on this challenge!

    Then, seven years later, I´m working with one of the best professionals I’ve ever known, full of desire to help building this company and make great projects.

    Guilherme, thanks for the invitation!

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