Brands and sport in Latin America – a missed opportunity?

Ivan Castano

There is now a huge potential for brands to use sport to connect with Latin America's growing consumer classes. Media investment in the region is expected to boom around Brazil's hosting of the 2014 World Cup, followed by the Olympics in 2016.

"No country has organised the two events so closely before," Alfonso Rodes, CEO of Havas Media, told a panel on sports marketing at the Festival of Media Latin America in Miami. "This represents a golden opportunity for brands that cannot be wasted."

Rodes noted the World Cup and Olympics will have a rippling effect in the region, spurring marketing opportunities for brands in other parts of Latin America, adding that these will be "Latin America's games".

However, both Rodes and fellow panellist Aleandre Cardoso, marketing director for leading Spanish internet portal Terra, argued that the potential is not being filled. Specifically, they pointed to two major hurdles:

  • A lack of understanding among brands about how to become truly involved in sport.
  • A lack of understanding among rights-holders about how to make the most of their assets.