By Trevor Zeiler
Soccer in Brazil is not only entertainment, but a source of income for the country.
It is the most popular sport across the globe, and Brazil is known for breeding some of the very best players (Pele, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho). Many young Brazilian boys dream of being soccer players because they are icons and some of the most well-known people in a country of nearly 200 million. Professional players are put on a pedestal, and live the life many Brazilians aspire to have.
But there are only a few available spots on a team, so competition runs high.
“Before getting drafted, at least 8,000 real is spent on minor leagues and traveling to tryouts,” said Bernardo Dias, Rio de Janeiro local. That is equivalent to about $4,000 U.S. Not only is skill needed to become a soccer player, but money as well. Unequal opportunity filters out many hopes of becoming a professional soccer player, but does not completely diminish the dream.
According to Dias, the money spent on a child’s soccer aspirations comes from his family, but neighbors will help pitch in depending on the families’ financial needs. Once a player is chosen for a team, he spends an average of eight hours a day practicing.
And soccer money feeds the country’s economy.
Rede TV! won a bid in 2011 for broadcasting rights of the top 20 Brazilians soccer teams, totaling $932.9 over three seasons (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-11/brazil-soccer-clubsincrease-broadcast-revenue-with-contract-with-rede-tv-.html). The soccer league benefits from this contract, and Rede TV! expected to raise its revenue that year by 50% because of the soccer rights.
In addition, the three most popular stadiums in Brazil, Maracana (Rio), Mineirao (Belahorizonte) and Morumbi (São Paulo) each have a capacity for more than 80,000 fans. Locals fill the stadiums, and those who can’t attend in person are likely to be watching from a television set at home or in a
restaurant/bar. Also, many fans show support by wearing a team’s jersey that can cost up to $120.
The economic impact provided by soccer will only continue to grow.
The FIFA Confederations Cup (2013) and FIFA World Cup (2014) are two of the largest soccer events in the world, and both will be hosted by Brazil. Two years after the World Cup takes place, the Summer Olympics will be held in Rio. Although that is not exclusively soccer, soccer is a large attraction and will help boost revenue for the country.
Thais Oliveira, Communications and Marketing Manager for the Municipal Olympic Committee, stated the number of hotel rooms would increase 78% between 2012 and 2016, creating more than 11,000 jobs in the hospitality industry.
Every sporting event will attracts tourists from across the world willing to spend money in Brazil, with soccer being the driving force.
The money is good for Brazil, but Brazilians are motivated by the art and craft of soccer more than the financial gain from it.
São Paulo has a museum dedicated to soccer covering its history from when it was introduced (1930) to the present. The three-story museum is located at the soccer stadium and displays larger-thanlife images of the sport’s best players, along with soccer artifacts such as cleats, balls, shin guards used in the past 80 years. Information is printed in three different languages for people all across the world to gain knowledge of the sport in Brazil.
One exhibit is dedicated to “the dance” a player performs after scoring a goal, and how Brazilians take pride in celebrating their accomplishment in scoring a goal. It is a chance for a player to show off his dance moves, his smile and his overall charisma in connecting with the fans.
The museum also contains Brazil’s five World Cup Titles. Brazil is the only country to participate in every World Cup, and will be looking for a sixth title in the summer of 2014.