There is no doubt about it: Brazilians are already looking forward to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. In a survey carried out in Brazil, 58.2 per cent of those interviewed gave the next edition of the global showpiece as the event they were most looking forward to, compared to 7.3 per cent for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, 2 per cent for the 2012 Olympics in London and 1.2 per cent for the 2014 edition of the Volleyball World Championship. This information was unveiled during a press conference on Thursday 28 July at Marina da Gloria in Rio, the venue which is set to host this Saturday’s Preliminary Draw for Brazil 2014. 

This survey was the first of nine to be carried out by FIFA over the course of the organisation and hosting of the event, with all of them to follow the same criteria as those performed before and during South Africa 2010. “We do surveys and studies like this to try and understand the impact the event has on people and to gauge the feeling of togetherness it creates around the world,” said FIFA's Head of Strategy & Brand Management, Ralph Straus. 

In Brazil, 93 per cent of those surveyed felt that the FIFA World Cup helps bring people together and, when quizzed about the opportunities the event will create in terms of the economy and national development, 79 per cent of Brazilians agreed that the FIFA World Cup will make a great contribution to the country. 

Rodrigo Paiva, Communications Director for the Brazil 2014 Local Organising Committee (LOC), highlighted the perception that the event has boosted levels of investment in the host nation: “Transformation, urban mobility, [improvements in] Brazilian people’s quality of life and giving Brazil a new image around the world are the main positives.”

We do surveys and studies like this to try and understand the impact the event has on people and to gauge the feeling of togetherness it creates around the world.

Ralph Straus, FIFA's Head of Strategy & Brand Management

The competition is expected to cause a 1.5 per cent surge in Brazil’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP): with a direct impact of 1 per cent and a further 0.5 per cent relating to the multiplier effect this growth has on the economy. It was Ilan Goldfajn, chief economist at Itau Unibanco, one of the domestic sponsors of Brazil 2014, who revealed this, among other economic forecasts, during the aforementioned press conference.

The direct impact is mainly down to the 20,600 million Brazilian reals invested in infrastructure, according to 2010 data supplied by the Ministry of Sport, while it has been calculated that this injection of resources across various sectors will create 250,000 jobs. In another of the direct consequences of hosting the tournament, the competition is expected to increase numbers of tourists, spanning both domestic and international, by around three million.

Goldfajn also made a point of highlighting the growth in exports usually experienced by host nations: “Exports grow by nearly 30 per cent in those countries which host the FIFA World Cup,” said the economist. “This fact is particularly important for Brazil.”

According to the survey, the next FIFA World Cup is also set to have a great deal of emotional significance for the Brazilian people, with 79 per cent of those interviewed stating they felt very proud their country was selected to host the competition. For those questioned, the most meaningful elements of the tournament were, in first place, its appeal to young people, followed by sportsmanship, the global status of the event, celebration, togetherness, patriotism, passion and inspiration, among others.

A selection of figures from 2010
During Thursday’s press conference, FIFA’s Communications Director Nicolas Maingot was also on hand to supply some relevant facts and figures from South Africa 2010:

- At the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, a total of 3.2 million spectators were at the stadiums to watch the competition’s 64 matches.

- The FIFA Fan Fests in South Africa and across the globe, including Rio de Janeiro, were visited by a total of 6,151,823 people.

- The website set a record of 410 million page views in a single day.

- There was also plenty of vibrancy on the social networking scene, with FIFA’s official account on Twitter gaining more than a million followers.