Almost three months after being revealed to the Brazilian public Brazil’s most famous armadillo is taking a few days off and reflecting on a busy and exciting start to his ambassadorial role.
Fuleco, who was named after a nationwide naming contest which attracted 1.7 million Brazilian votes, has supported FIFA and Local Organising Committee (LOC) teams at several official events including Host City Tours and the FIFA Confederations Cup draw. He has also been spotted all over the world, accompanying Brazilian football idol and member of the LOC Board Ronaldo in a visit to the Home of FIFA in Zurich and attending a huge event in London. Most recently Fuleco joined Brazilian football greats Marta, Cafu and Bebeto at a football tournament participated in by Brazilian and international journalists at the Clube Atletico Juventus in Sao Paulo.
“We’re delighted to see the impact that the mascot has had in Brazil” said Thierry Weil, FIFA’s Marketing Director. “Not only is he well-known and recognised by the vast majority of Brazilians, he also seems to have built up a rapport with football fans and is a popular figure, even gaining his own affectionate nickname ‘tatu-bola’. He is fast becoming the most successful FIFA World Cup mascot of all time.”
The tatu-bola’s star is firmly on the rise with 89% of Brazilians claiming that they have already seen the Official Mascot, be it in person or through his many appearances in Brazilian media. Research also revealed that he is seen as an appealing character and is widely perceived as representing the words “Brazilian”, “Nature”, “Friendly” and “Passion for football”.
“Every football fan has at least one FIFA World Cup mascot that they will never forget. Take World Cup Willie in 1966, the first ever official mascot, or Naranjito from 1982 who is still very well known in Brazil, or Zakumi, Fuleco’s predecessor from 2010. From what we have seen in just three months, Brazil’s tatu-bola is well on his way to establishing himself in FIFA World Cup history”, adds Weil.
And now the mascot is looking firmly ahead to the future. He will turn 13 years old on January 1 2013, signalling the start of another exciting year where he will travel around the world promoting Brazil and the FIFA World Cup™ to young football fans. From 15 to 30 June 2013 Fuleco will be at the heart of the Festival of Champions, appearing live in the stadium at all 16 matches during the FIFA Confederations Cup.
To keep track of Fuleco’s activities and visits on the way to the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup please visit www.FIFA.com/mascot