In approximately one week, the FIFA World Cup will kick off in Brazil. This sporting mega-event will put a lot of challenges and interests in play. It is a football party with enormous dimensions. The global reach is massive and the football party’s emotional equity touches people from all corners of the world. The commercial appeal for the involved sponsors is remarkable as a result of the large opportunities for exposure and activation. Brazil 2014 is not just about the relation to individual players and clubs but about the creation of strong relations to stakeholders with passion for football worldwide and the exploitation of these relations for stakeholder groups like sponsors, sports governing bodies, football clubs, football players, engaged fans etc. This relational focus goes beyond product lines and thus integrates fan engagement via TV, in stadiums or in the fan zones. The FIFA World Cup is a phenomenon within the transformation economy, which is capable of producing positive transformation for the involved stakeholders, e.g. individual players coming through founded on good performance on the pitch, individual clubs boosting the general fan identification level associated with these players, or sponsors stimulating the awareness and image of their brands and products and hence motivating to consumption.
Photo: The official web site of the FIFA World Cup 2014.
The aspect of transformation economy also becomes visible concerning Brazil as a host nation based on the commercial and political interests, which are essential regarding the World Cup. Brazil has prioritized to invest gigantic amounts of money in this prestigious event at a time where the country battles with different political, social and economic challenges for what reason Brazil’s success is about more than the event being a folk festival for a passionate crowd from all over the world. The World Cup must also be a driving force in terms of enhancing the country’s economic growth rates and attract international investments, which can prove that the country in the long run can create a positive transformation by solving some of the above-mentioned challenges. Moreover, the emotional equity also concerns the crucial theme for Brazil, which is to unite the nation by meeting the predominant pressure of expectations and winning the World Cup on home turf. Huge media exposure, relative short-term positive impact on the country’s tourism turnover and investments in infrastructure do not unite the entire nation. Neymar and his fellow teammates have the opportunity of doing so on the pitch where they can be transformed from sensational young football players to football legends. Football has changed a lot since Pelé helped Brazil to win the World Cup in Sweden in 1958 at the age of 17. The game of football has experienced explosive commercialization and what follows since 1958. Now, there is a different and heavier responsibility tied to the active participants of the world’s biggest football party. The 13th of July is a more suitable date to evaluate on the success of this football party from a Brazilian perspective. Brazil has won more FIFA World Cup titles than any other nation but a title as a host nation in 2014 will act as an appreciated transformation with relations to other factors than football for a country in which football is a vital part of the cultural DNA.
Today, the football players are idolized and commercialized super stars at a different and bigger level than years ago and the large appeal and reach of the game produces a reinforcing circle, which peaks in connection with success during a FIFA World Cup tournament. Football is a form of positive obsession for the football fans worldwide and the stakeholders of the tournament want to be a part of this process with their own agendas in mind. This event is truly a shared global experience, which generates positive transformation across cultures and international borders. Therefore, the commercial interests are constantly nourished. At the same time, football is a sport, which is perfectly aligned with new media platform’s ability to unite people. New super stars like Neymar and Christiano Ronaldo absolutely fit into the Facebook and YouTube cultures surrounding the game of football and that helps to make the event an even bigger commercial circus than earlier. Such actors really understand to categorically apply some of the motivational factors, which make football fans travel to Brazil for the event or enhance the amount of eyeballs that follow the event on TV at home, in bars or in fan zones in any major city around the world. The FIFA World Cup displays some of the world’s best sporting ambassadors and the participation in the most popular sport while accommodating the stakeholders’ needs for social participation, drama, excitement, unpredictability, sporting aesthetics and performances, the fan identification with the best stars of the sport and the positive escapism integrated in the framework of this event.
Some additional inspiration of the power of football: