The value of sports when it comes to brand

As a sports enthusiast and passionate about Place Branding, I do follow special events and actions that put both together. Sports is a key player of our society, as far as it hosts the essential values of human kind. The local and external projection of sports, both similar and different at the same time, can bring huge benefits to the development of a country.

For less developed countries and emerging nations, sports are a direct way to many destinies. Sports educate, bring together, set a solid community base through very special values, teach about effort, commitment, group and determination.

Today, I finally found a couple of hours to enjoy Invictus, a film by Clint Eastwood based on John Grisham´s book The human factor. A true story, part of the history of a country.

I really enjoyed watching the film, not about its face, but about its concept. Invictus goes beyond a story of conciliation between whites and blacks in South Africa. Through a too simple structure and presentation, Invictus shows us how Mandela saw in rugby the way to  end up with the historic Blacks vs Whites of his country.

I missed a deepest consideration of Mandela´s personality and strategic sense. Yes, he is a perfect strategist. He analyzed what rugby meant in that society and decided to turn it into the key tool to brand South Africa internally and launch a new image to the Public Opinion.

I felt the film had a wide lack of crucial issues. The human factor book took us first through the tough years Mandela suffered struggling as a lawyer against apartheid´s rules and those he spent in jail.

If better structured and shown, Invictus could be a basic manual of Place Branding through Sports. It tried to and, in fact, it was launched few months before de Football World Championship that was to be held in South Africa. But one could say the echo it provoked was far from the original target.

Sports and Entertainment (cinema) as key players for a country branding plan.



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