February 8, 2009

Gearing up for FIFA World Cup 2014

São Paulo Futebol Clube is Brazil's most successful soccer team in recent years with six national titles. Their home stadium, Morumbi, is going through a major transformation in preparation for FIFA World Cup 2014.  The project is designed by Ruy Ohtake, one of Brazil's most celebrated architects. 

Friday, I went to visit the first visible change of this transformation, what is called the Morumbi Concept Hall__ a soccer-themed entertainment area similar to what you see in European and North American sport venues but unheard of in Brazil. A stunning Reebok Store (the largest in Brazil) and the Santo Paulo Restaurant where we had lunch overlooking the pitch are both in full operation. Next to the restaurant, UCI is building two cinemas. VISA has launched a service called PassFirst in which members have access to 20,000 seats and special treatment using their cards.  It's not enough just to go an watch a match, sports are a fantastic opportunity for brands to provide a powerful marketing experience.  The World Cup will certainly elevate the game in the area of sports marketing in this country.

On the outside, the stadium has plans to renovate the parking area and build a monorail that will link a nearby subway station to the stadium gates.  

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