Published October 27, 2013
Players of Flamengo celebrate their Brazilian Cup victory against Botafogo.
Brazil's economy "may be facing a slowdown but there is one business in Latin America’s largest economy that is reporting record growth rates: football," according to Joe Leahy of the FINANCIAL TIMES. A study by Itaú BBA bank indicated that the revenues of Brazil’s top 24 teams grew an average 32% in '12 to reach a total of almost $1.4B thanks to "booming television broadcast income" -- even though the economy expanded only 0.9%. Itaú BBA Credit Manager César Grafietti said, "More impressive is that, since 2010, club revenue has grown in a consistent fashion, on average about 29% a year." The "positive turn in Brazilian football’s fortunes points to an area of strength in the country’s economy despite its recent challenges -- an unprecedented rise in the number of lower middle-class citizens after more than a decade of economic stability." Companies are using TV to "target these new consumers and, in Brazil, nothing is guaranteed to draw an audience more than football." The study found that "TV revenues for the biggest clubs" now account for as much as 49% of revenues -- "as at Flamengo in Rio, the fourth biggest team" with 212M reais ($97M) in revenues. For São Paulo’s Corinthians, "Brazil’s biggest club" with revenues of 359M ($164M) last year, TV made up 43% of sales (FT, 10/27