The FIFA World Cup is the sports event with the largest audience in the world. In the last edition of the event, the Ministry of Sports and the federal government were faced with the challenge to communicate, in an assertive and transparent way, the specially planned actions for the tournament, such as projects in the host cities and investments in transportation, security and accommodations. This and other competition-related news were part of the agenda of the World Cup Portal, a partnership between different ministries and Secom, which became the official source of information from the federal government about the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
During the three years it was online, the Portal served as a point of reference for journalistic information, since it was designed and written to be used by the media as well as fans, tourists and the general public. The trajectory of the Portal can be divided into two stages. The project described here refers to the second stage of the Portal which, in 2013, underwent changes in layout, strategy and target groups.
In the first stage, in 2011, the Portal emphasized content dealing with the preparations for the competition and managed to establish itself as a major source of government information, with transparency and credibility, both for internal bodies and in relation to the press. The goal of the second stage was to place fans at the center of the coverage, increase the visibility and draw attention to business opportunities and qualifications for the tournament and, lastly, to prepare the Portal to be the main source of official information for professionals involved in covering the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 FIFA World Cup.
- Become the official venue for the actions of the federal government in relation to the FIFA 2014 World Cup;
- Become a point of reference for influencers who will find updated information on the progress of the works in the host cities;
- Provide, in real-time, the maximum amount possible of news;
- Fulfill the role of a hub – Distributor of all information about the 2014 FIFA World Cup related to the Ministry and the federal government;
- Attract fans – Rally, engage and build on the feeling of pride to be hosting the event;
- Gather content showing how the different agencies of the federal government are connected for guiding Brazil’s preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
- Renew all the content and expand interactions with the new target audiences;
- Have a modular structure, able to reflect the new focuses (fans, citizens and business people) in a flexible, intuitive way, in order to create an environment that invites Internet users to select the featured themes on the home page;
- Highlight the latest relevant news from each of the sections of the portal;
- Make the access more dynamic and interactive and help the official content of the Portal on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+) to be shared quickly and easily;
- Provide, in real time, the results of the latest games and daily news about the tournament;
- Make the portal more attractive and intuitive to fans and target audiences.
- Formation of team with a journalistic nature focused on looking for stories to supply journalists and other target audiences
In the first half of May 2014, the content production team for the World Cup Portal was strengthened through the addition of 12 reporters who worked on topics such as: mood in the city as the event drew closer; training of volunteers from the federal program; World Cup operational plans for the city; FIFA events-tests in the stadiums; structures of the Command and Control Centers and reports on the city infrastructure for receiving tourists.
The photo and video galleries posted monthly on the World Cup Portal provided images of the progress of all the works related to the World Cup in the 12 host cities, authorized for use for editorial purposes.
From April 2013 until July 13, 2014, there were 12,304,655 sessions, 11,720,190 users, more than 37,000 page views and an average visit duration of 2min 24s. There were 9,170 news articles posted in Portuguese, 1,340 in English and 1,160 in Spanish. From May 12 to July 13, 2014, 1,500 news articles were posted in Portuguese, 271 in English and 197 in Spanish. More than 850 videos were posted on YouTube, with approximately three million views in total. Documentaries were produced about the stadiums, construction progress, special interviews with former world champions and different articles.
Following are some media outlets that used and cited the World Cup Portal: UOL, Globesporte.com, IG, Terra, Lancenet, Placar, Playboy, Folha de S. Paulo, O Globo, Zero Hora, Correio Braziliense, BBC, El País and The Guardian, in addition to news agencies such as AP and Reuters. Television networks included: Discovery Channel, Terra TV, Sportv, Band, Esporte Interativo, Univision, ESPN and CNN. Embassies, consulates, museums, sports federations, university researchers and authors also asked to use content from the portal according to their area of interest.