Brazilian State and the Symbolic Economy of Sport Mega-Events

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 12:45
Oral Presentation
Michel NICOLAU NETTO, State University of Campinas - UNICAMP, Brazil
Sport Mega-events (SMEs) have become a platform to enhance the status of emergent countries in the global stage. So it was in Brazil as the country hosted the two most recent SMEs: FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games. Both were understood by the State as part of a strategy to promote a modern image of the country globally.

However, the MediaSpace of a SME is of a special sort. Most of FIFA, IOC and their partners’ profits come from two sources: broadcasting and marketing rights. It means that they base their profits on a symbolic economy, producing symbolic forms with economic value. This is a consequence of the process of globalization that may be seen in the history of SMEs, since the end of the 1970s, in two senses. First of all, this economy has been globalized as the capital involved in it started coming from multinational companies, with global market interests. Secondly, the multinational sport institutions have gathered more control over marketing and broadcasting rights strategies and negotiations, retrieving them from national agencies.

In order to make this economy work, the sport institutions must guarantee that the landscape of the SME will be suitable for the economic valuation of the symbolic forms. Therefore, they demand from the State to produce the landscape of the SMEs as one in which they have the authority over the symbolic forms.

It means that, if the State produces the country image to be promoted globally, it also needs to produce a landscape in which the authority over the symbolic forms has been denationalized.

In this paper I want to analyze both roles of the State and the conflicts that were related to them. In order to do so, I will present results of a research carried out in Brazil since 2013.