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2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil spot debuts during ESPN’s Rose Bowl coverage today

With 161 Days until the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, ESPN will air its first spot celebrating the event today during the 100th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO (5 p.m. ET, ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio). The 60-second spot is a celebration of the world’s greatest sporting event returning to Brazil, a nation that has won the Cup a record five times.

It intertwines memorable moments and legendary players from the tournament’s rich history with the Brazilian culture and its impact on The Beautiful Game. It also features music by Sigur Ros entitled “Festival.” Front Row asked Bryan McAleer, associate director of sports marketing, how the spot came together.

What do you hope this spot conveys?
When we looked at this World Cup being such a unique one, coming back to Brazil for the first time since 1950, we wanted to make sure the influence of the Brazilian culture was prominently featured. Brazilians ultimately transformed the sport into The Beautiful Game. We tried to capture what we think is going to be an epic celebration by juxtaposing the spectacle of the World Cup and those iconic moments against the Brazilian backdrop.

Is there original footage from Brazil?
Yes, we took a small crew to Brazil during the Confederations Cup, filming matches as well as cultural touch points, but most importantly the people. It was all very organic once we got to Brazil and turned on our cameras. One of my favorite moments resulted in the footage of the kids playing soccer – those are real kids from the Mangueira favela who were rather annoyed we had taken over their pitch. As we assured them we’d be off the pitch in time for their match, they started kicking the ball around and we started rolling – they were the exact slice of Brazil we were looking for.

How does this spot relate to what we’ll see from the campaign as we get closer to the World Cup?
This is the jumping off point and serves as an introduction of what is to come. From here, we’ll delve into more specific Brazilian territory, ultimately celebrating and anticipating those goose bump moments. It all falls under the umbrella of the “One Game Changes Everything” tagline. The World Cup in Brazil is going to be both an intense football experience and a huge party. The players are talking about it, fans are talking about it – and we want to capture that energy.

Editor’s note: The full campaign will roll out in the coming months. A longer, 90-second version of this inaugural spot is available online.

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