Saint-Gobain in the play!

In order to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup®, Brazil undertook a major infrastructure construction and improvement program. Saint-Gobain had its role to play in and around the stadiums
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  • Maracanã Stadium in Brazil
Saint-Gobain within the World Cup
Saint-Gobain businesses were involved in many of the construction projects for this 20th Football World Cup.
Saint-Gobain solutions were used in all the stadiums newly built or refurbished for this event, and to improve the country’s infrastructure.


The 2014 FIFA World Cup® was a significant event for Brazil. The Saint-Gobain businesses present in Brazil were involved in the leading construction sites surrounding the event. The company’s products and solutions were used in numerous stadiums and buildings, and in urban transportation and hotel infrastructure making it possible to cater for the hundreds of thousands of tourists who travelled to Brazil from around the world. Extensive synergy was leveraged between the businesses’ sales & marketing and industrial teams to provide innovative and complementary solutions tailored to the specific requirements of the various projects.

“We are proud to have been so closely involved in this event, enabling us to showcase Saint-Gobain’s expertise in construction and high-performance materials,” said Benoit d’Iribarne, General Delegate for Brazil, Argentina and Chile. “The company clearly showed that it is part and parcel of life in Brazil for both new housing construction and renovation, and for significant urban projects.” 

Maracanã Stadium

The final was played on July 13, in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium. The stadium, originally built in 1950 for the FIFA World Cup®, hosted the greatest number of matches – seven in all – including the grand final. Maracanã was given a facelift for this latest World Cup. Once known as the “world’s largest stadium” with a spectator capacity of more than 200,000, the stadium’s seating was trimmed back to 74,698. The renovation project was in keeping with the original concept. 

Spectator sightlines were improved by changing the seating rake and removing the lower ring. All the seats were also replaced. The stadium has been encased in an ultramodern structure including a system to recover stormwater for its reuse. 

The Saint-Gobain products and solutions used for the renovation were:

Innovative Materials 

  • Grinding wheels, machines and strips - Saint-Gobain Abrasives 
  • SHEERFILL® Architectural Membrane products - Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics 

Construction Products

  • Ductile iron building systems to collect and evacuate stormwater and wastewater, and ductile iron municipal castings - PAM
  • Thermal and acoustic insulation for partitions, roofs and air conditioning systems, and acoustic panels - ISOVER
  • Dry wall partitions - Placo®
  • Cement sheets, steel construction system components, roofing tiles and Masterboard panels - Brasilit
  • Mortars, waterproofing products, wet concrete and facade solutions - Weber Quartzolit


The need to develop infrastructure to cope with the thousands of visitors boosted demand for Saint-Gobain products. The company was involved in many construction projects: urban mobility, airports, roads and hotels. 

SHEERFILL® membrane headlines final

The roofs of the Maracanã, Mané Garrincha, Fonte Nova and Mineirão stadiums all use the SHEERFILL® architectural membrane from Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics. Nearly 200,000 square meters of this PTFE-coated glass fabric were manufactured in Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics’ Merrimack, New Hampshire (United States) plant exclusively for these stadiums. It provided an exceptional opportunity to promote this roof covering and demonstrate the product’s aesthetic, comfort and durability qualities. The membrane protects the public from the heat while still allowing daylight to filter through, and it has a lifespan of more than 30 years.

The Mané Garrincha stadium in Brasilia is one of the largest projects in the world to use the SHEERFILL® membrane combined with the EverClean® technology. The latter keeps the membrane clean, acting as an air purifier by decomposing the pollution and organic particles that are widely present in the air in large cities.

Key figures

  • More than 50,000 meters of ductile iron building pipes for stormwater collection and evacuation systems 
  • 850,000 units of abrasive products including abrasive papers, and cutting and grinding wheels 
  • More than 8,000 metric tons of mortars, waterproofing materials and facade solutions 
  • About 80,000 metric tons of boards for dry wall partitions used for walls and lining
  • 200,000 square meters of thermal and acoustic insulation materials
  • About 200,000 square meters of architectural membrane 
  • About 20,0000 square meters of special glazing materials 

Around the matches

The matches provided an opportunity to run numerous sales & marketing operations, organize customer events and to commemorate the event with the manufacture of special series.

Training trades professionals: Reaching out to workers on the Arena Pantanal stadium 

The Saint-Gobain mobile training center stopped over in the city of Mato Grosso in 2013 to train the workers who built the Arena Pantanal stadium. They attended training courses on how to implement various construction systems and products from several Saint-Gobain companies: Norton (Innovative Materials), Brasilit, Isover, Placo® and Weber (Construction Products).


Unique product: Wastewater municipal casting 

Korumin ductile iron municipal castings specially marked with the stadium names were developed by Saint-Gobain Canalização (Construction Products). These products, created specifically for the domestic Brazilian wastewater market, were manufactured in Brazil

Builders’ pride: Recognition for stadium builders 

The “Massa que Toca” campaign run by the Industrial Mortars Activity (Construction Products) aimed to provide recognition for the workers building the football stadiums, while at the same time promoting the Weber brand. 

Photographs, videos and messages of encouragement posted on social networks were displayed on screens erected near the construction sites. Promotional merchandise (inflatable headrests, sun visors as well as 2013 Weber guides) were distributed to more than 1,600 building professionals. The author of the best comment on Facebook was named Brand Commentator on Facebook for the duration of the Cup. The football players Juninho Paulista, Edmilson, Vampeta and Ronaldo Giovanelli also took part by leaving messages on the Weber page.

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