(By Andrew Cave)
“Remember all those tales of unfinished stadia and disasters waiting to happen. Where are they now that the Brazil 2014 looks set to be one of the most memorable World Cups of our time? Maybe such scare stories are par for the course for the pre-World Cup build up or a necessary warning rap for builders to get a move on. But there’s a message here for chief executives and marketers who really believe their mission statements. Make them happen“.
Brazil 2014 is the best soccer World Cup in recent history. The goals are flying in; there’s plenty of last-minute action and there have been upsets galore. So can it teach us anything about business and leadership? Here’s a tongue-in-cheek effort to field a five-a-side team of nuggets of wider truths.
1: It Really Will Be Alright On The Night.
Remember all those tales of unfinished stadia and disasters waiting to happen. Where are they now that the Brazil 2014 looks set to be one of the most memorable World Cups of our time? Maybe such scare stories are par for the course for the pre-World Cup build up or a necessary warning rap for builders to get a move on. But there’s a message here for chief executives and marketers who really believe their mission statements. Make them happen. And did anyone really seriously doubt the ability for four weeks of live broadcasting from Copacabana Beach to do anything other than light up all our summers?
2: But Be Ready For Crises and Respond Promptly
Nobody seriously expected Luis Suarez to turn his opponent-biting record into a hat trick at soccer’s greatest world stage. But when he did, FIFA acted promptly. One can quibble about the length of the Uruguayan’s ban, while the organisation was always going to be criticised for taking the time to have a due process to determine Suarez’s future. However, FIFA acted, the player was sent home and the incident is not going to cast much of a shadow on the event. And acting much quicker than the few days that it did take to pronounce the verdict on the disgraced striker would have looked like a hastily-assembled kangaroo court.
3: Be Prepared For the World To Shift
The record of European nations in Latin American World Cups is relatively poor but how many football fans really expected most of Europe’s major teams and even the reigning holders Spain to fail so immediately and totally? England’s inability to qualify was much more predictable but together with the performances of Spain, Italy, Portugal and yes Russia, this has been one of the most woeful European performances for some time. It’s tempting to draw parallels with the rapid rise of the world’s developing economies and comparative stagnation of some parts of the European continent? But it may not be time just yet to sell Germany and buy Costa Rica.
4: The Me Games Are Here to Stay
You Could Call it the Selfie World Cup. In every televised match (and they’re all televised), the camera pans to colourful and attractive fan faces, which light up with glee when they realise they’re being beamed all over the world. This has long happened at televised sporting events but seems to have escalated to new highs at Brazil 2014. Indeed, the total minutes of me-too camera-grabbing in a game might even eclipse the number of minutes that Luis Suarez is capable for staying on a pitch. Chief executives of media companies should be counting the number of cameras in the crowd at football matches and rock concerts. This is the era of immersive entertainment and opportunities will abound for companies that work out how to join in the fun.
5: Build a Better Legacy For Your Company Than FIFA or The International Olympic Committee Ever Manage
Lke all global sport-a-thons, the Brazil 2014 World Cup is easy to criticise for its budget – an estimated $2 billlion for four stadia alone, its waste and cost-overruns and its lack of legacy. Will it make money? Nobody truly knows, though FIFA has reportedly bagged $4 billion for television rights and marketing deals. As for the effect on the Brazilian economy, the nation’s Institute of Tourism is forecasting that the tournament’s tourists will spend $11bn during the event. Brazil’s tourists minister Vinicius Lages has gone even further by forecasting that the World Cup will contribute more than $13 billion to Brazil’s gross domestic product this year. The prospects for the tournament’s legacy, however, are not promising. It is being widely reported that several of the stadia have little chance of being filled with people regularly again, since they are sited in cities and regions without teams popular enough to attract large crowds. Business leaders should be able to do a much better job of creating their own sustainable legacies.
“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”