In a move unprecedented in the history of the FIFA World Cup, forthcoming 2014 hosts Brazil have launched a global destination branding campaign, a full four years before the first game kicks off, to entice football fans to savour the country of samba in 2014.
Inspired by the tremendous destination branding success of the 2010 FIFA hosts, Embratur, Brazil's tourist board, has announced an ambitious vision, called Plano Aquarela 2020, aimed at doubling the number of foreign visitors and tripling the value of tourism through the next decade.
In real visitor numbers, this means that Brazil's 2020 target is almost identical with South Africa's 2010 goal of attracting 10 million visitors (currently Brazil receives 5 million a year) and achieving a comparative rating of 90% plus on the FIFA Scorecard, which rated South Africa's hosting performance the best ever, beating Germany's 2006 score of 88% by two percentage points.
After receiving the official keys to the world cup in Johannesburg, Brazilian president Lula launched the "Brazil is calling You!" campaign, which is targeting 400 million consumers in 100 different countries at a cost of US$30 million until the end of 2010.SA's hosting success
Visibly impressed by SA's hosting success, the Brazilian president stated: "The success of our African brothers represents a tremendous challenge to the Brazilian people. We are learning from them to ensure that we will present a world cup as beautiful as 2010."
In the race to beat the benchmarks set by her predecessor, the Brazilian government has allocated a record world cup budget that makes South Africa's 2010 expenditure look like petty cash. Said Felipe Cavalcante, president of ADIT Brasil, the government-funded association for inward investment in real estate and tourism: "It is anticipated that Brazil will spend $US 50billion on various projects in the 12 host cities. In comparison, Germany needed to spend just $US12 billion to prepare for the 2006 World Cup. So getting Brazil ready for the world cup is a big project and huge challenge which we are looking forward to."
A big project indeed, seeing that Brazil is intent on outspending the 2010 hosts by a factor of 10 (South Africa's world cup budget was capped at US$5 billion).Own high speed train
Not to be outshone by its predecessor, the Brazilian LOC has already commissioned its very own Gautrain, a high speed train connecting São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which is likely to cost US$6 billion and a further US$2.8 billion to upgrade airports of 10 of the 12 hosting cities. Similar to previous projections for the flow of 2010 visitors, analysts estimate that 500 000 fans will come to Brazil for the tournament and that - different to the South African experience - each fan might have to take between six and 14 flights to watch games in the various host cities.
Come 13 July 2014, when Rio's famous Maracana stadium will be hosting the FIFA World Cup final, will FIFA president Blatter be in a position to pronounce that Brazil's model of public-private partnerships has produced an event that will be rated as successful and inspiring as the 2010 showpiece? Next week, read Part 2: How Rio transformed her ugly duckling brand image.