The Copa Libertadores final earlier this month was an intense and fiery affair, with Brazil’s Fluminense facing off against Argentina’s Boca Juniors in an intense 2-1 win that had it all: extra time, late drama and two red cards.

To complement the feisty contest at the 79,000-capacity Maracanã Stadium, organisers CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation) needed a fan zone that could rival the atmosphere.

Memorable atmosphere

Located on Rio de Janeiro’s famous Copacabana Beach, the fan zone featured numerous activations to whet the appetite before the big match. In the week leading up to the game, the fan zone showcased the Copa Libertadores trophy, allowing fans to witness the ultimate prize.

The fan zone, which replicated the shape of the Copa Libertadores trophy, featured a museum and mini stadium, celebrated South American gastronomy, and offered live performances from DJs alongside a host of other experiences.

Free entry was available to fans, giving them the opportunity to get into the spirit ahead of the big game – and while the party started on Copacabana Beach, it continued with Fluminense delighting the locals by winning the trophy for the first time in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A club’s history.

“CONMEBOL comes every year, investing a lot in the growth of South American football, and the final of our main club tournament deserves an activation of live marketing of the size of the passion that the fans of this continent have for football,” says Marcelo Vouga, CONMEBOL’s brand experience project leader.

Rich history

Copacabana Beach has a history of featuring as a hub of fan-facing activities. During the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the beach welcomed 20,000 visitors to its huge ‘Fan Fest’, featuring food, drink, music and entertainment, as well as a big screen for public viewing.

Two years later, Copacabana was showcased as the home of beach volleyball during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, with a temporary three-sided stadium giving spectators a memorable view of the action, as well as the Atlantic Ocean. Indeed, the facility attracted widespread praise for capturing the spirit of the Games whilst showcasing elite-level sport, demonstrating vividly how creative event organisers can leverage a destination’s natural attributes.

Following the success of the fan zone for the culmination of the Copa Libertadores, the concept will be replicated in other locations in the future, according to Vouga – and all eyes will be on activations surrounding CONMEBOL’s upcoming events on the calendar.

Image Credit: Januzzi Filmes