5 keys to digital growth in Brazil
Brazil has long been considered a hotbed for football, with the national team seducing global audiences for decades. But it is only in more recent times that European clubs have opened their eyes to the power of the market, both on and off the pitch.
In this article, Samba Digital’s Senior Community Manager and Brazilian expert, Matheus Palmieri, shares his five keys for football clubs when looking to grow their digital audience in Brazil.
Matheus, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has deep knowledge of the market having worked as Portuguese Content Editor for OneFootball for over 5 years before coming to Samba in 2017 where he has been working alongside such iconic clubs as Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Liverpool & Manchester United to develop their Portuguese-speaking audience.
1. Who are your audience?
What comes to mind when you think of Brazil? Smiles, Carnaval and Copacabana Beach. Life in the country is about enjoyment, fun and jokes and Brazilians want this reflected in the content that they consume, especially when it comes to their national sport – football! Clever and relevant use of slang, expressions and memes that speak to a particular cultural moment or event are massively important and this is why a community manager that has their finger on the pulse is crucial, just like this example from Spurs’ X channel:
— Tottenham Hotspur (@Spurs_PT) October 17, 2023
2. Celebrate what is great about all of Brazil
Although parties and beaches are top of mind when we think of Brazil, the truth is that Brazil has so much more diversity than you expect, so let’s celebrate it.
Take Liverpool’s star man Allison Becker, for example. He comes from a region in the south of Brazil called Rio Grande do Sul which has a landscape and a culture that is much more similar to neighbouring Uruguay and Argentina than the rolling beaches of the north-east. In honour of his region and to celebrate the ‘Revolução Farroupilha’ on the 20th September- a public holiday that is only celebrated in Rio Grande do Sul – he was pictured by Liverpool’s BR X account celebrating by holding a ‘Chimarrão’ which was gladly received by the ‘Gauchos’:
Em cima do laço, mas bem capaz que íamos esquecer de ti, vivente!
— Liverpool FC Brasil (@LFCBrasil) September 20, 2023
3. Explore the links with Brazilian clubs
There are currently 32 players from Brazil playing in the Premier League with Lucas Paquetá, Richarlison and Gabriel Jesus being among some of the most notable. So leveraging these players in your content is clearly a way to score easy engagement. But which club do these players support in Brazil? Where did they spend their youth career and where were they signed from? Engaging with the official channels and the fanbases of these clubs in Brazil is a sure-fire way to build up a more diverse following. Take this example from Liverpool’s X channel which was even engaged with by Luis Suarez himself.
Tem ex-craque do Poolzão chegando por aí, né, @Gremio? 👀
— Liverpool FC Brasil (@LFCBrasil) January 3, 2023
4. Know what is relevant for your audience.. And what isn’t!
This sounds like an obvious point, but studies show that 1 in 3 Brazilian football fans have two clubs- a Brazilian and a European one. But no matter how fanatic their support is of your European club, their first love will never be usurped. Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid will not pull on the heartstrings the way that Flamengo, Palmeiras and Fluminese do. It is therefore crucial that you take into account that only relevant and interesting content is shown to this audience. Day-to-day news and updates that hardcore European fans consume will not have the same impact in Brazil and will see your engagement rates dropping off.
𝗙𝗘𝗟𝗜𝗭 𝗗𝗜𝗔 𝗗𝗢 𝗙𝗟𝗔𝗠𝗘𝗡𝗚𝗨𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗔! ⚒️ ⚫️🔴 pic.twitter.com/6ip0sIz5sO
— West Ham United 🇧🇷🇵🇹 (@WestHam_PT) October 28, 2023
5. Make your club part of the conversation
On any given weekend, you will see the trending topics on Brazilian social media dominated by news of the Premier League, La Liga and other European leagues. Many times, your club could be at the epicentre of a national debate and you are totally unaware, whether that is due to the club’s treatment of one of the star players of the ‘Seleção Canarinha’, a big result against a rival or due to a funny exchange with an influencer.
Up the Irons! ⚒️
— West Ham United 🇧🇷🇵🇹 (@WestHam_PT) November 6, 2023
Being aware of these debates and giving your community managers the licence and creative freedom to put your club at the centre – whilst still respecting your brand positioning- is crucial and can lead to a lot of positive sentiment online and in the local press.
There we have it, the 5 keys when looking to grow your reach and engagement in Brazil. We all take it for granted that we understand our audience in our own countries, as we are immersed in the culture, language and current debates on a day-to-day basis. But, because of the different conversations and contexts in other countries, it is very easy for an organisation to stumble and make embarrassing faux-pas when looking to enter into different markets. This is why an expert who can assist your club in navigating these murky waters is imperative when looking to properly connect with new fanbases.
Obrigado e até logo, Matheus!