Brazil update – WYD, Olympics, Football plus…

World Youth Day 2013 is in July

The full program for the Pope's visit to Brazil, 23-28 July, has been released, including visits to favelas.

The location of the Vigil and Sending Forth Mass, the largest gathering of pilgrims during the 5 days program, will be in Guaratiba, at a location called "Campus Fidei" ("Field of Faith"), comprising two large properties. The Pope will arrive by helicopter and he will travel by Popemobile among the public on the day of the Sending Forth Mass.

The Campus Fidei will have three points of access. Separate lots will be built, each for between 30-50,000 people. Each lot will include bathrooms, drinking fountains, medical clinics, big screens, sound equipment, food, worship tents, and tents selling various products. Some lots may have two service clusters. It seems as many as 37 lots may be prepared, suggesting expectations of about 2 million pilgrims. Early estimates suggested well over 3 million may attend, with some speculating that 5 million people may travel to Rio. Gulp!
Staffing is estimated to be about 1,000. 84,000 volunteers have registered for the event.

The Secretariat of Municipal Transportation, ANTT (National Land Transport Agency) and all transportation providers are planning transport to and around the venue. The pilgrimage walk to Campus Fidei will be between 6 and 13 km.

The two sites together account for more than twice the area of ​​"Four Winds" in Madrid, where the last World Youth Day was held.

The preparation works will finish by the end of June, for sound and light testing.


2016 Rio Olympics news

Representatives of ten National Olympic Committees (NOCs) visited the sport venues in three of the four Rio de Janeiro zones that will host competitions during the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Five European countries were represented (Germany, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and France), two Asian countries (China and Qatar), two African countries (Botswana and Namibia).

Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes has vowed to “punish” those responsible for structural defects in the showpiece venue for the 2016 Olympic Games. The Joao Havelange stadium was shut in March after an appraisal by an independent engineering firm showed the venue's roof could collapse due to structural problems.  Paes said construction of venue, built for the 2007 Pan American Games, had been "rushed at the last minute."  Now there is a move to change the name of the stadium after a report by FIFA's ethics committee accused him of taking bribes.

Olympic golf course: While legal wrangles continue, the organising committee has declared it has all necessary permits to commence construction of the venue, designed by American Gil Hanse.


2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup

The 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup kicks off in just over a month and the six host cities are putting the finishing touches to their respective stadiums. How they cope with roaming football fans will be a useful test ahead of the 2014 World Cup. The World Cup dress-rehearsal will start on June 15, when hosts Brazil face Asian champions Japan at the Estádio Mané Garrincha in the nation’s capital, Brasilia, where the pitch has been recently completed. The stadium was originally to be opened on April 21 but sporting test events have taken a back seat to continued building works. Almost 600,000 tickets have been sold for the Confederations Cup competition.

Some voice is emerging about the post World Cup fortunes of some of the new stadiums that are being built. Often delivered through public-private partnerships, there are real questions about the ability of local teams in some cities to run sufficient scale events to cover the core costs of venue operations. Most stadiums are built to cater for 40-50,000 spectators; the new Brasilia stadium seats 70,000. Multi-use plans and creative ticket pricing and add-ons will help to achieve sustainability, but it will take time. Chances are that governments will supporting some venues for a few years.

Maracanã Stadium reopened its doors on Saturday, April 27, for the first test-event in preparation for the Confederations Cup. This follows two and a half years of rebuilding.

Protests were staged against the proposed sale of the Maracanã Stadium to Brazilian business magnate Eike Batista. Many Cariocas are passionate about keeping the football stadium as city property, dubbed Maracanosso. Eike Batiste has been in the news – including various comments that his expansion of recent years has over-extended the company and that he is now facing enormous debts.


In the sports arena, ISG has been engaged by Eike Batista and IMG's joint venture, IMX, to provide stadium expertise to several 2014 FIFA World Cup projects. IMX is a joint venture between EBX Group, controlled by Eike Batista, and IMG, the world's largest sports marketing company. In late 2011, IMX acquired Brasil 1 and is now responsible for a large portfolio of sports & entertainment properties including UFC, Volvo Ocean Race, Megarampa, LPGA Brasil Cup and many others.

Since 2007, ISG has successfully brought their expertise into several stadium projects in Brazil, most of which are connected to the preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, through the activities of its wholly-owned subsidiary, ISG Brasil. Through the new arrangement ISG will provide support to IMX and IMG in all stadium and arena projects in Brazil. IMX will assume all of ISG Brasil's interests in its various stadium projects, and IMX will become the entity through which all future sales and marketing activities will be contracted and conducted.


Digital and creative agencies in Brazil

SapientNitro is taking an 81% stake in São Paulo shop iThink, founded by CEO Marcelo Tripoli a decade ago. This follows a rush by international agencies to buy into the Brazil market with expectations of much opportunity as the World Cup and Olympics activities step up. Last year, Dentsu bought local agency Lov and WPP Group's Ogilvy acquired Foster. In 2011, WPP bought and WPP's Possible Worldwide took a majority stake in Gringo. In 2010, WPP, Interpublic and Publicis Groupe all bought digital shops in Brazil: Midia Digital and I-Cherry fwere bought by WPP; AG2 was taken over by Publicis; and Interpublic acquired the São Paulo located Cubocc, "The Monster Whatever Hotshop". Mr. Tripoli estimates that digital accounts for about 15% of all ad spending in Brazil. Although there's no official ranking of Brazil's digital agencies, he said the only digital shop larger than boutique-size that hasn't been bought yet is W3Haus. W3haus is part of nonconformity group. That Sao Paulo agency is likely to attract suitors as the World Cup and the Olympic Games approach.

Get in quick!


The economy…

The underlying reason is that even though the country as a whole is struggling, most families’ incomes are still rising fast. Unemployment is close to record lows and pay rises are comfortably outstripping inflation, partly because of big hikes to the minimum wage, but also because of that tight jobs market. Meanwhile, the gradual weaving of a social safety-net is rescuing many Brazilians from destitution. The result is falling inequality, a growing middle class—and a disconnect between GDP growth and most Brazilians’ actual experience. But if wages continue to rise, those Brazilians working in the tradeable sector—that is, those whose jobs could be done abroad—will be priced out of the global jobs market. Poor education and infrastructure, not to mention enterprise-killing bureaucracy, mean the average Brazilian worker is only a quarter as productive as an American one. And if Brazil is to join the ranks of rich countries, its GDP will have to get much bigger. At only $11,000 per capita, there will not be enough to go round otherwise—no matter how fairly it is shared out.

Source: The Economist, 7 May 2013


Brazil Pangaea

A team of Japanese and Brazilian scientists working off the coast of Brazil say they may have discovered part of the earth's original continent before the land masses drifted apart.

Eric Winton

Director, New Millennium Business

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