48. LourenǍo Bustani

Founder of CEO of Mandalah, How To Advertise In Brazil

48. LourenǍo Bustani
Nike built soccer fields. Bustani just hangs out in them Photograph by Gabriel Rinaldi

As Brazil has grown to become the world’s sixth-largest economy and is set to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, companies such as GM, HSBC, and PepsiCo want in–but they’ve been wise to go through consultant Lourenço Bustani, who explains how to touch this tricky market. The secret, he says: “Find the sweet spot between purpose and profit.” A case study:


What Nike wanted:

To reach Brazilians during and after the World Cup.

What Nike didn’t appreciate:

Brazilians are worried about being abandoned after the World Cup and Olympics.

Bustani’s plan for Nike:

Display a commitment to local neighborhoods and integrate “urban tribes”–the rich and the poor–who are drifting apart as the economy improves. That will leave a lasting impression.
1. Sponsor a soccer tournament for kids from low-income families.
2. Build and fix skateboard ramps, and provide a free instructor at one.
3. Sponsor a surf school.
4. Sponsor hundreds of local marathon runners.
5. Operate eight neighborhood soccer fields, and train kids to play.



Most of these projects began in 2011. Says Bustani: “With energy directed toward Rio for a year and a half, already you see how the perception with regard to Nike and the brand has impacted people.”


  • 1999

    Cofounds events production company as a University of Pennsylvania sophomore; runs more than 25 events for 1000+ people in three years

  • 2002

    Serves as vice president of the University of Pennsylvania debate team; ranks as 4th top speaker at a national tournament

  • 2002

    Graduates magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania

  • 2004

    Returns to Brazil

  • 2006

    Founds Mandalah with the goal of helping companies do well and do good at the same time

  • 2007

    Mandalah lands General Motors, its first big, multinational client

  • 2007

    Serves as chairman of the Global Symposium of the Future Trends Conference in Miami

  • 2010

    Selected by Nike to help develop its vision for the 2014 World Cup

  • 2011

    Selected by Brazilian Olympic Committee to spearhead cultural planning of 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro