The British Olympic Association is getting a step ahead on plans for the 2016 Summer Olympics by following the example of successful Brazilians. That is by joining a club. In December, the BOA announced that it had entered into a special agreement with the Minas Tenis Clube in the city of Belo Horizonte, about 200 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro. British athletes from teams in aquatics, basketball, boxing, fencing, gymnastics, hockey and rowing will use the Minas Tenis Clube as a training base to prepare for local conditions at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
This is just one of many examples of how private clubs play a vital role in Brazilian sports business and all business. Dozens of clubs have proud traditions, excellent sports and entertainment facilities, and member rosters of engaging Brazilians who know how to get things done quickly and with a touch of class. And several have special reciprocal agreements with clubs in foreign countries, so that these clubs can be a valuable source of contacts and activities to plan ahead for the 2014 World Cup and Rio 2016.
ICRJ stands for Iate Clube of Rio de Janeiro, that is “Yacht Club” in English. Its partner yacht clubs in the United States are the California Yacht Club, Dana Point Yacht Club, and San Francisco Yacht Club. In addition to a superb location close to the venue for Olympic sailing in 2016 and the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center, ICRJ has a wide range of choices for business events, press conferences, sports awards ceremonies and cultural exchanges with local Brazilian athletes and community leaders.
Business entertainment at Iate Clube of Rio de Janeiro is very reasonable compared to a hotel or restaurant. A typical buffet dinner with refreshments would cost about $ 75 per guest, plus a modest rental charge for a private event room. Most have spacious outdoor terraces that capitalize on the beautiful location near legendary Sugar Loaf Mountain. There is no additional cost for private security, considered essential for important business events in Rio de Janeiro. The large outdoor pool complex can accommodate very large evening events with up to one-thousand guests. These advantages have already earned the attention of sophisticated event planners and many facilities are already reserved during the 2014 World Cup events. So it is not too early to plan ahead for 2015 Olympic test events or 2016 conferences. ICRJ Social Director Gisele Delazeri speaks fluent English and can consult with event hosts in North America to plan ahead for sports business functions.
There are so many excellent sports clubs in Rio de Janeiro the greatest challenge can be deciding which one to join. Advertising and media executives often prefer the Jockey Club, which has an elegant annex in downtown Rio de Janeiro in addition to its historic home at the Rio Hippodrome equestrian complex. Tennis enthusiasts find themselves at home at the Caiçaras Country Club in the affluent Ipanema district. Located on a private island with its own ferry to Ipanema, this lushly landscaped resort style club offers an ideal setting to completely capture the attention of VIP guests. The large Monte Libano Club has much more than complete athletic facilities. It also has a full schedule of programs that are good ways to make good contacts in Brazil — performances, music and even magic shows.
It used to be complicated for Americans living in the U.S. to join an excellent club in Brazil. But now it has become much easier thanks to Facebook. You can “like” a club like Monte Libano or ICRJ on Facebook, translate many posts and events from Portuguese into English and contact members to become Facebook friends. Then when you visit Brazil in person, your new friends can introduce you to the club and explore ways you can join as an associate member.