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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Innovation Touchdown: The Visionary Journey That Brought The NFL To Brazil

Innovation touchdown: the visionary journey that brought the NFL to Brazil gustavo pires: transforming são paulo into a global event hub, driving economic growth, and consolidating brazil's reputation on the international stage.

NFL To Brazil
Photo 1: Courtesy of CO Press | Photo 2 & 3: Rafaela Biazi & Adrian Curiel on Unsplash

The introduction of the NFL (National Football League) to the country not only revolutionizes the football fields but also inaugurates a paradigm shift that transcends sports boundaries. In a journey that redefines the limits of sports and entertainment, Gustavo Pires, more than a sports enthusiast, emerges as a visionary strategist, marking a transformative era for Brazil.

Gustavo Pires, President of São Paulo Turismo (Spturis), the largest public events company in Brazil and one of the top five event companies globally, solidifies himself as a central figure in redefining the cultural and sports landscape in São Paulo and Brazil. His strategic approach and visionary thinking establish Brazil as a global hub for major events and world-class entertainment.

"The introduction of the NFL in Brazil was more than a sports move; it was a visionary strategy to elevate Brazil to the global entertainment stage. I sought not only the sports spectacle but also the cultural and economic impact that this bold step could bring," comments Gustavo.

During the NFL Owners Meetings in Dallas, Texas, the National Football League (NFL) officially announced that São Paulo would host an exciting NFL game. The announcement was made in a press conference attended by the owners of the league's 32 teams, São Paulo Mayor Ricardo Nunes, and Gustavo Pires himself. The thrilling match was scheduled to take place at Corinthians Stadium in Itaquera in the first week of September or the second week of November. Details about the participating teams and the exact date will be revealed later in the year.

São Paulo's inclusion in the "NFL International Series" was a strategic part of the brand's global expansion. According to the league, Brazil has a significant fan base, with 38.3 million people declaring their passion for the sport, trailing only behind Mexico, with 39.6 million fans. The expectation was that the event would generate approximately $60 million in São Paulo.

Negotiations to bring this epic event started in 2022, following a formal expression of interest from São Paulo. Throughout 2023, intense meetings and inspections were conducted, covering various aspects from mobility and transportation systems to hospitality, security, and infrastructure, both for the city and the game venue and training centers.

The choice of Corinthians Stadium took into consideration factors such as the size of the field, surrounding areas for sponsor activations, necessary adaptations in the locker rooms, and suites designed similarly to those used in the United States.

This historic event further strengthened the ties between the NFL and Brazil, providing a unique experience for Brazilian fans and marking an unforgettable chapter in the country's sports history.

"The NFL in Brazil is not just about touchdowns and tackles; it's about transforming Brazil into a global hub for sports entertainment. As a strategist, my goal has always been to exceed expectations, and this introduction represents a significant step on that visionary path," says Pires.

Pires's impact on the entertainment landscape in Brazil is multifaceted. In addition to the NFL, he played a crucial role in introducing Formula E to the country, showcasing his commitment to diversifying the entertainment portfolio. Under his leadership, São Paulo has become a venue for internationally renowned events, including Formula 1, The Town, Primavera Sound, and Lollapalooza.

As the President of São Paulo Turismo, Spturis, Gustavo Pires is at the forefront of producing, promoting, and licensing over 2500 events annually. His strategic vision has transformed Spturis into a powerhouse, contributing not only to São Paulo's economic growth but also solidifying Brazil's reputation as a global destination for diverse and world-class events.

Gustavo Pires's journey is a testimony to his global and strategic vision that transcends borders. His efforts have elevated not only Brazil's position on the international events and entertainment scene but also set a precedent for innovation, diversity, and excellence. With the unwavering support of São Paulo Mayor Ricardo Luis Reis Nunes, they shape the entertainment landscape, not just with the NFL but with a broad vision encompassing various internationally relevant events.


Gustavo Pires, a 31-year-old visionary, stands out as a multifaceted and influential figure, born in São Paulo, Brazil. As the President of Spturis, Brazil's leading public events company and one of the top five globally, Pires is recognized as a natural-born strategist who transcends borders, positively impacting the global events and entertainment industry. His diverse portfolio spans from sports to entertainment, playing a transformative role in positioning Brazil on the global events stage. In addition to his notable introduction of the NFL to the country, Gustavo Pires was instrumental in making São Paulo the first city in history to host all three major FIA categories: F1, Formula E, and WEC. This achievement highlights his commitment to diversifying the entertainment portfolio. Under his leadership, São Paulo has become a hub for internationally renowned events, including The Town, Primavera Sound, and Lollapalooza. With his strategic vision, Gustavo Pires significantly contributes to shaping the global entertainment landscape, solidifying his role as a prominent and innovative figure in the industry.


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