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Oct 13 2015

Brazil 2015: Day 1 (10/13/2015) – An Exciting Week Ahead in Rio!

by at 3:47 pm


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By: Henry Opotowsky

Another brilliant trip to sport’s hottest market has been organized and planned for 16 lucky students by Georgetown’s Sports Industry Management Program. This year’s version of the retreat comes at a particularly intriguing time: Rio will play host to the 2016 Olympics next August, while the nation is caught-up in political unrest resulting, in part, from a lingering World Cup hangover. Presently, there are a number of social and economic issues within the country, many of which can be traced back to the organizing of the two largest sporting events in the world that will take place just 25 months apart from one another. As a group, we plan on getting to the heart of these issues through a series of meetings with some of Brazil’s most significant sporting associations.

12091168_10156066618670364_8750170857132264910_oNBA Brazil, Octagon Sports, the Rio Olympics Committee, the Confederation of Brazilian Football and FGV Business School are some of the magnificent organizations we are meeting with this week. In addition to the business meetings, we have many “on-the-side” activities planned for the upcoming week including two athletic events: an NBA preseason game between the Orlando Magic and Rio’s own Flamengo, and a football match at the one of the sport’s great venues, the famed Maracana. And of course, a trip to Rio would be incomplete without making stops at Sugarloaf Mountain, Christ the Redeemer and some of the city’s famous beaches.

Each of us has our own individual mindsets and expectations of the upcoming trip. Some look at this as a chance to get their foot in the door for future employment opportunities, while others are here to explore Brazil’s culture, current sports landscape, and – of course – wonderful scenery. Personally, I’m looking to find a nice balance between the two!

Tonight’s meeting with Arnon de Mello is sure to be one of the highlights of the trip. De Mello is the Managing Director of NBA Brazil. He is tasked with expanding the NBA’s brand beyond the borders of the United States and into one of Basketball’s trendiest overseas markets. De Mello has a background in finance and was recently appointed to his current position in 2013. It will be interesting to hear his story and learn how he got into sports without ever being an athlete.

This week happens to be De Mello’s busiest of the year. He is tasked with organizing the biggest basketball event in Brazil this year: the preseason game between the Orlando Magic and Flamengo on Saturday, the 17th. Being able to meet with him during such an important time for the NBA in Brazil is a very unique opportunity that we will certainly cherish.

The meeting with De Mello tonight will definitely get the ball rolling for an exciting week ahead for the Brazil Emersion crew here in Rio!

#SIMABROAD

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