It was a return home – and a visit to his former stomping ground – for VfB brand ambassador Cacau. At the “Instituto Sementinha” – which was founded by Cacau himself in the east of Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo – kids aged between seven and 14 take part in various activities on weekdays, both before and after school. “The aim of the project is to give disadvantaged children a new perspective on life through sport and culture,” said Cacau. “When I started the project in Mogi des Cruzes, gratitude made me want to give back part of what I achieved.”
After taking part in a kickabout, Cacau presented the children with VfB gear. In return, the youngsters treated the former striker to a violin concert before challenging him to a skateboarding session. An array of media appointments, TV interviews and the donation of a VfB shirt with ‘18’ on the back – Cacau’s former number – rounded off the 42-year-old’s visit to the Instituto Sementinha.
At the three-day Sports Summit Sao Paulo, Cacau met with representatives and experts of the entire South American sports industry. The event was also attended by officials from other major European leagues.
The VfB brand ambassador took part in a forum entitled “Legends of Sport: Teachings & Legacy” alongside football greats including Mauro Silva, vice president of the Sao Paulo Football Association, as well as Paulo Sergio and Diego Lugano, not to mention former UFC fighter Rodrigo Minotauro. Cacau spoke about his life, moving from Brazil to Germany as a young man and the importance of football-related social projects in his home country.
Bundesliga International joined forces with Cacau and former Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich midfielder Ze Roberto to stage the “Bundesliga Friends & Family Match”, which was won by Team Cacau. The game was played on the “DFL Common Ground Pop-Up Pitch” – a small playing field set up by the Bundesliga on the grounds of the complex for the duration of the summit. The contest was watched by the children from Cacau’s initiative in Mogi des Cruzes, who were also invited to take part in a stadium tour and meet-and-greet event.
Rouven Kasper, head of marketing and sales at VfB: “Our strategy in our most important target markets is long-term. Every personal contact, meeting and visit counts and pays off in the long run. That also goes for Brazil, one of the biggest footballing nations in the world. The country is also very important for many of our partners as a production location or market, so we see potential here for existing and potential partners. Cacau is the perfect ambassador for us in Brazil – although not just there – and can open many doors for VfB.”