Eric Ehrmann – Huffington Post, 5/12/2015
In São Paulo recently, gunmen raided the fan club of popular first division soccer team Corinthians called Pavilion 9 during a party, forced eight members to the floor and murdered them in cold blood.
The mob-style rubout killed more people than the infamous St. Valentines Day Massacre orchestrated by Chicago gangster Al Capone.
But in Brazil, where riots and killings are part of the urban landscape, people shrug it off and the victims become part of the body count in the growing conflict between haves and have-nots.
Lourdes Garcia-Navarro – NPR, 5/11/2015
It has been almost a year since the World Cup in Brazil. The party is long over, but the country is still dealing with the hangover — in the form of “white elephant” stadiums and unfinished infrastructure projects. They come at a time when the country faces economic woes and the prospect of another expensive mega event: next year’s summer Olympics.
The most expensive World Cup stadium — located in the capital, Brasilia, and with a price tag of $550 million — is being used as a parking lot for buses.
The stadium in Cuiaba — which cost some $215 million to build — has made news repeatedly: first for being closed down because of faulty construction, and then recently for the homeless people squatting in its unused locker rooms.
Matthew Wheeland – The Guardian, 5/4/2015
Amid what is normally considered the rainy season, Brazil, the home of the Amazon River, is suffering from a historic, punishing drought.
In a country accustomed to ample water supplies, neighbors are turning against neighbors and hoarding water as taps run dry while businesses close and protesters take to the streets. Some have even speculated that São Paulo, one of the world’s largest cities, is failing.
The costs of a drought are many – water rationing, fines for consumption and constraints on agriculture and industrial production. But for Brazil, a water shortage also leads to another problem: more than 75% of Brazil’s power comes from hydroelectric sources, making it second only to China in reliance on hydroelectric power.
Tony Manfred – Business Insider, 3/20/2015
FIFA released its 2014 financial report, and it shows how the organization profited off the World Cup that cost Brazil billions. The 2014 World Cup generated $4.8 billion in revenue for FIFA compared to $2.2 billion in expenses. Over the four-year cycle, the event turned a $2.6 billion profit.
FIFA made $2.4 billion in TV rights fees, $1.6 billion in sponsorships, and $527 million in ticket sales.
Much of FIFA’s World Cup spending went to participating teams and confederations ($476 million) and TV production costs ($370 million). FIFA contributed $453 million to the local organizing committee between 2011 and 2014, and gave Brazil a $100 million “legacy” payment after the tournament.
Ben Lyttleton – Goal, 3/5/2015
There are six players in the Rich List Top 20 who are under 30, but only one under 26. That man is Neymar, 23, who comes in third with an estimated net worth of 135 million euros ($149 million). That huge figure is not just a reflection of his football talent – although Brazilians see him as the best player in the world already, his confirmation of that status might be a few years away – but rather a perfect storm of contributing factors to create the optimal earning template.
Timing is the most important element of the ‘Neymarketing’ success story. His talent developed and blossomed at a period in Brazil’s history when its economy was on the up, increasing by four percent a year between 2002 and 2010. That allowed him to stay at Santos, his club in Brazil, for longer than other Brazilians normally would before moving to Europe. Neymar’s commercial pull encouraged sponsors to pay his Santos salary, and he only moved in 2013 because it was felt he needed a season facing European opposition to prepare for the challenge of the 2014 World Cup on home soil.
That was the other significant factor of timing for Neymar: the World Cup. Every company wanted to be part of the biggest competition in the world, and it so happened that the home side’s best player and star turn was an advertisers’ dream. Even if the economy was not as strong as it had been, Brazil is a country of over 200 million people and they all need toothpaste, a bank, deodorant or car batteries (he was the face of all those products).
AP – Fox News Latino, 2/2/2015
The Super Bowl is a winter event, but in Rio de Janeiro, a mix of Brazilians and expatriates sweltered on a steamy night to celebrate the NFL championship game in their own way.
Among the fans jammed into Shenanigan’s Sports Bar, just two blocks from the city’s famed Ipanema beach, Brazilian Milena Lozano — wearing a Patriots jersey emblazoned with Tom Brady’s No. 12 — said she likes American football because it’s “more intellectual” than Brazil’s beloved soccer.
“It’s a little different dynamic than our soccer,” the 19-year-old said. “It’s a little more sophisticated than just go and score a goal.”
Noah Joseph – Autoblog, 2/3/2015
It looks as though the IndyCar Series will be bumped back to running exclusively in North America this season after the planned race in Brazil has been canceled.
The announcement made late last week left many questions unanswered, but subsequent reports indicate that it was the local government in the capital of Brasilia who pulled the plug. Apparently facing backlash over the enormous cost of hosting the FIFA World Cup last year amidst rampant poverty in the country, government officials have been under increased scrutiny over the costs associated with hosting international sporting competitions. The planned return of the MotoGP race in Brasilia was also canceled for the second year in a row.
To make matters worse, a reported two thirds of the tickets had already been sold, renovations to the Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet were well under way, and a sponsor for the race was due to be announced within days. Series organizers, however, say that both they and the participating teams are protected financially for just such an eventuality.