French companies selected for the FIFA World Cup : No 16, June 2014
The FIFA World Cup kicked off on 12 June, and the whole world’s eyes will be glued on Brazil until 13 July. France’s businesses have not let this exceptional opportunity slip past them.
Brazil has been dancing the samba since 12 June when the opening match of the FIFA World Cup was held. This project has been a colossal achievement and required major investment and years of preparation. To cope with the scale of the challenge, Brazil called upon experts from the world’s greatest companies to design and renovate its infrastructure. South America’s leading economy naturally looked to France and its businesses, which are renowned in many fields. They were particularly involved in building and renovating Brazil’s stadiums, including Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana and São Paulo’s Arena, where the opening match was held.
France’s businesses have risen to the challenge
Vallourec is a world leader in unsoldered steel tubes and contributed to renovating and building several World Cup venues including Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Its Brazilian plant situated in Belo Horizonte delivered a total of 10,500 tonnes of these tubes, which are used for the design of stadium roofs and connected equipment.
The company Serge Ferrari also participated in this ambitious project. It has an excellent reputation in architecture circles and provided high-technology composite materials. These were used to produce stable and lightweight extended roofs and for sun protection and waterproofing, which are very important in countries like Brazil.
Verteego, a publisher of software that measures the environmental impact of buildings, took part in the construction of six stadiums. According to Rupert Schiessl, Verteego’s CEO and co-founder, "Brazil still needs to equip itself in the construction sector, in compliance with environmental standards, which are our key market".
Cracking open the Champagne
Other major names in the French economy are taking advantage of this World Cup to strengthen their presence in Brazil. Air France recently launched the first direct Paris-Brasilia flight, while Taittinger Champagne is the official World Cup supplier.
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- Cuiaba Stadium / © Joana França
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has also placed its confidence in the SME Netco Sports. By working with the world leader in radio and television broadcasting, the Belgian company EVS, Netco Sports will supply 26 television channels in 26 countries with smartphone content. "We have a total of 36 cameras around the grounds, providing users with all the tools they need to be both a seasoned commentator and a television producer.", says Jean-Sébastien Cruz, the company’s CEO.
The company Amisco, meanwhile, is already a partner of 10 of the 32 countries qualified for the final phase. It recently merged with the British company Prozone and will be at the heart of the event, supplying precious information, statistics and indicators on performance. In addition to its partnerships with national teams, the company’s experts will also provide a wide range of editorial content.
More generally, French companies hope to take advantage of the World Cup’s long-term impact. France already employs close to 500,000 people in Brazil. Benoît Trivulce from Ubifrance, the French agency for international business development, says that "the country’s needs are all opportunities for French businesses.