We have covered on VolleyMob Bernadinho’s rumored move to politics in Brazil. The Brazilian coach has always been an icon and brand of success, discipline, and power of will in Brazilian society as a whole, not just in sports. After all, he did lead Brazil’s men’s and women’s national teams for more than 16 years, winning more than 30 international titles on that time span.
It is only natural, then, that this is seen by political agents, and maybe even Bernardinho himself, as a chance of capitalizing on his highly respected public image persona. Although coach Bernadinho himself has not given the media any updates on these rumors, what could happen if he did suddenly move away from volleyball? Consider what happened to Volei Amil after José Roberto Guimarães left the project: It simply folded in a matter of weeks, even though it boasted one the league’s highest attendance rates. Now, consider that José Roberto Guimarães is not half as famous as Bernadinho.
It’s not unusual for coaches to be more famous and important to a sport than the athletes themselves. In American sports, we have many example of this phenomenon. Consider, for example, the likes of San Antonio Spurs’ coach Greg Poppovich, New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick, and University of Alabama’s Nick Saban and how their relationship to fan hood is portrayed. This is the case of many coaches in Brazilian volleyball. Coaches like Bernadinho and José Roberto Guimarães are the biggest draws of Brazil’s domestic leagues, not the players themselves. What does this mean from a financial standpoint? Well, for starters it means that some coaches, not players, are the league’s biggest financial assets, in the sense that they are outside sponsors’ biggest targets. Bernadinho, for example, is the face of many Brazilian brands.
Bernadinho is the heart and soul of Brazilian club female volleyball, having won the Superliga an amazing 11 times. It always startled me when attending Superliga matches that at the end of games, fans didn’t care about most players at all and went straight at coach Bernadinho for autographs and selfies. If he goes away from the game, he may as well leave a hole in heart of fan that no one in volleyball today would be able to fill. Needless to say, most fans in social media are not content with all these rumors.