Brazil... the host country of the 2014 FIFA World Cup… the country of football... the ‘only five-time winner of the FIFA World Cup… and the biggest country in South America.
Starting to work on this project was a dream coming true. The opportunity of taking the world’s most iconic trophy throughout the country where people live and breathe football. And a dream coming true: to be able to bring happiness, joy and the icon of football to thousands of enthusiastic football fans. If you love football, there is not much more you can ask for!
There is not one word that can describe this tour around the 27 capitals of Brazil. Rather, there are many: adventurous, epic, challenging, surprising, grateful, amazing, wonderful, daring, exciting and happy. Maybe only the entirety of these words comes close to describing the feelings on and for this tour.
Over the last months, we put in long hours of work, sacrificed personal time with family and friends and many hours of sleep to make this dream become a reality. The secret to all this was the true teamwork -- we were not just a group of individuals who worked at the same location or had the same logo on their business card.
This team was made up of people who might have been unequal in experience, talent, or education, but who were equal in their commitment to work together to achieve the goals and good of the project. It required commitment and effort, a willingness to accept the uniqueness of others, and an appreciation of diversity. But we worked as an unstoppable, amazing, and one cohesive unit.
To build on the legacy that the global tour started, we continued to
make this journey, this time within Brazil, as inclusive and as participatory
as possible. And the only way to achieve that in a country of 3.288 million square
miles and more than 200 million people, was by taking the real FIFA World Cup Trophy
to all regions of Brazil – from the gauchos of Rio Grande do Sul to the Indians
of the Amazon forest.
There are many special moments throughout the tour. It all started with the kick-off of the global FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour on Corcovado Hill at the statue of Redeem the Christ in September 2013. This one-day event gave us a glimpse of what was coming, what was expected and what was ahead.
It was also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the 10 FIFA World Cup champions who participated in the tour with us. We had one former champion in every city to make every opening ceremony a special one. Some of them traveled with us on the plane, so they became, even just for few days, part of our family.
As for the location choices, to accelerate the atmosphere of the approaching start of the FIFA World Cup, we conducted some of our events in or around the stadiums that are now hosting the biggest sporting event on earth.
Although it sometimes felt like being part of the movie Groundhog Day – especially during the 19 consecutive one-day events – every day had those incredible, exhilarating moments that kept us going and made all the sleepless nights and hard work worth it. The enthusiastic screams of teens seeing the trophy, the thousands of smiles staring, unbelievingly, at their photo, the tears in the eyes of consumers realizing the significance of the moment, the passionate engagement in all our active, healthy living activations – on stage, the interactive room or the outside games.
The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour in Brazil has been a hell of a ride – amazing, beautiful and inspiring. We are beyond grateful that we had the opportunity to lead this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we are thankful for the learnings and experiences that came with interacting with thousands of people. The road was long and steep but it was all worth it: we achieved our goal by bringing happiness to thousands of Brazilians and made a true difference in their lives.
This tour was only possible because we had this amazing team by our side; people that have been so much more than just partners in this journey but moreover "allies in crime," supporters and friends. The places we traveled, the experiences we shared, the memories we created together and the stories we wrote along the way will stay with us forever.
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