During the last few years, LaLiga has boosted its international reach far beyond Europe and South America, its traditional core markets. The Spanish top division has experienced exponential growth in strategic regions like North America or Asia, where it has doubled its audience over the last three years. As a result, it is gradually closing the gap with the Premier League in regions where English football had significantly deeper historical roots.
This growth is the result of a very ambitious plan designed by President Javier Tebas, whose chairmanship is marking an absolute turning point for LaLiga. Spanish football has always been popular abroad, specially driven by fan favorites Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, but Tebas believed that it was very far from fulfilling its true potential. Tackling this issue was one of his top priorities when he became President in 2013.
After two years of analyzing the global landscape in great detail, Tebas’ team detected both the problem and the solution: to expand internationally, LaLiga required a global strategy that at the same time could adapt to the specific circumstances of each market. They needed to go “Glocal”, as they called it: global ambitions with a local focus.
“WFS provides a unique platform for the delegates and their partners to come together with clubs, brands and other stakeholders and discuss future actions and explore business opportunities”
Oscar Mayo, Director of International Development – LaLiga
Developing and implementing this plan obviously required a big investment, but before spending a penny it was mandatory to gather as much knowledge as possible of the different markets and the habits of the fans in every region. For this purpose they created LaLiga Global Network: a team of 46 professionals selected after a rigorous recruitment process featuring more than 12,565 applicants representing 126 nationalities.
After 10 weeks of intensive training by LaLiga and Santander’s Universia Foundation, the delegates were located in 46 countries carefully selected considering LaLiga’s strategic objectives. From their offices in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas or the Middle East they designed 50 tailor-made business plans for the different markets while working in coordination with LaLiga’s Director of International Development, Oscar Mayo, and his team in Spain to support local partners and audiovisual rights holders, explore new sponsorships and licensing agreements as well as identifying other revenue opportunities.
Less than three years later, LaLiga Global Network have proved to be an extremely effective tool. Among other major achievements, their work has enabled the organization to triplicate its global audience and experience double digit growth in international revenues. Only during 2018, the delegates carried out more than 400 activations in over 50 different markets, significantly bridging the gap with its international competitors. They’ve also provided the Spanish clubs with key insight and contacts to guarantee a successful entry in target markets and to identify and develop new business opportunities.
“Their presence brings a lot of value to WFS, we are honored to have them”
Jan Alessie, Director – World Football Summit
LaLiga Global Network has once again chosen WFS as the setting of their annual meeting, in which the delegates come together to share their latest developments and discuss future strategies along with some of their main local partners, sponsors and rights holders, which find in WFS a unique platform to establish contacts and strengthen connections with clubs, organizations and stakeholders.
As Oscar Mayo points out, “WFS provides a unique platform for the delegates and their partners to come together with clubs, brands and other stakeholders and discuss future actions and explore business opportunities”. WFS is delighted to support this meeting. According to WFS’ director Jan Alessie, “LaLiga’s Global Network is composed by some of the best professionals in the industry and it’s a core part of an internationalization strategy that has become a reference for sport organizations worldwide. Their presence brings a lot of value to WFS, we are honored to have them”.