It is going to be interesting to see what kind of the spin Comcast’s NBC Universal will put on the Rio Summer Olympics which is on track to be one of the most disastrous in the history of the Olympics. The Brazilian lower house has voted to start impeachment proceedings against the President, Dilma Rousseff for various reasons including corruption in the state owned petroleum industry. The Upper House will decide if its wants to go along with the Lower House and if the body says yes to impeachment, the President has to step aside for 180 days while the investigation continues. That puts the political crisis right smack in the middle of the Summer Olympics in August.
How Brazil got here is a matter for local residents to take up but how Brazil landed the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics is not. People in Brazil paid a good chunk of cash to get both events but the world was slightly different economically when Brazil won the major sports events. About a decade ago, the BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India and China were the apple of economist’s eyes, all of those countries’ economies were on the rise and it was thought the four countries would be major world money players. Everything was going smoothly until it didn’t go smoothly. Brazil got the Olympics in 2009 beating out a Chicago bid. All sorts of bad economic things happened in the lead up to both the World Cup and Olympics, money has run out for some Olympics projects, the sailing competition will be held in a bay of polluted water and the Zika virus has not been combated. Political leaders go after the Olympics as a way of saying our country is open for business, the Rio Games probably will be the secondary because a president may be tossed from her office.
Republished with permission Evan Weiner for the Politics of Sports Business.