Its all about the World Cup, not the problems in Brazil

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

11 June 2014

Brazil’s World Cup problem – and why it will go away

In case you have been living under a rock and haven’t heard, the World Cup starts tomorrow in Brazil.

The event is the quintessential championship of global football (soccer for us in the US) and really the only event of its kind in sports today. Rabid fans from around the world will watch their teams vie for a shot at a World Cup Championship as the games unfold in the soccer mecca of Brazil.

Brazil World CupAs most of you have most certainly heard, the lead up to the World Cup was marred by violent protests that sought to bring attention to the amount of money Brazil was spending building new stadiums that, in all likelihood, will be seldom used again. The protesters would rather see the money spent on housing and other public services.

In response, Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, has ordered thousands of extra police and soldiers to keep the peace and ensure the magnifying glass is focused on the games and not on Brazil’s economic issues.

Here’s what interests me. At Stealing Share, we say that a brand should be a reflection of the consumer. If there is a single global brand that evokes a highly intensive emotional response, it is soccer. A brand that has real meaning and resonance is like having a field of white flags with one lone red flag standing out and created just for you. When one sees that red flag, that becomes all you see, the background becomes unimportant.

And this is what will happen in Brazil. We already saw this same phenomena in Sochi Olympics earlier this year. The game will become more important than the venue and the issues with Brazil’s spending will melt away into the background. Brand is a reflection of those who use it, yes but it is also an insulator against distractions. Soccer is a powerful brand and I think the powers that be in Brazil are counting on it to be just that.

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  1. Mark D.

    You’re right, Tom. Yet, In the instance of sporting events like the World Cup in Brazil and the Sochi Olympics, I just don’t like what brand has the power of doing — overshadowing the voices of citizens that need help and should be heard. But then again, this highlights how some brands are so powerful that they can transcend right and wrong.

  2. Mike Oz

    I would agree, but I’m not so sure the problem will go away like it did in Sochi. Different political environment. Putin has free reign. Rousseff does not.

    Still, the soccer brand will rule over the next few weeks.


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