LaLiga Santander sets the bar for sports leagues

REAL SPORTS SCENE - Anthony Suntay - Philstar.com
LaLiga Santander sets the bar for sports leagues

MANILA, Philippines – LaLiga Santander is the model to follow for leagues around the world!

During a recent lunch with LaLiga’s Almudena Gomez, we were introduced to the various platforms that the league is doing, and institutions here and abroad can definitely lift a page or two from them to improve their own product.

First, every year they try to come up with innovations for their television coverage. This season they will have artificial intelligence classifying live action. They will also have more and better videos quicker than ever before. The fans nowadays want to see more of the action in various angles. Additionally, they will be having ex-players pitchside to do interviews, which will be very informative and interesting.

The league also boosts its reach by taking advantage of other platforms. LaLiga is the most followed domestic football league on social media, with over 160 million fans all over the world enjoying LaLiga content in 20 different languages across 17 different platforms. 

LaLiga is also leading the way in digital outreach for international fans with Play LaLiga, the only self-produced TikTok show by a European league. I recently saw the PBA tying up with TikTok which is a step in this direction. 

LaLiga created the first-ever mini-app on Alipay for Chinese fans, and the launch in Indonesia and Thailand of LaLiga Pass, a self-developed OTT offering all LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank matches for fans on demand. 

These initiatives are just some of the reasons why the league’s fanbase increases every year. 

What I found interesting is their thrust to develop growth. LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank have a program called Boost LaLiga, a large-scale €2 billion investment project made possible by LaLiga’s agreement with investment fund CVC in December 2021. Clubs are already working across the board on ambitious development plans in areas such as strategy and business, infrastructure, international, brand and product development, digitalisation, and tech innovation. Among these projects are Atletico Madrid building a new sports city, Villareal remodeling the Estadio de la Ceramica, Valencia construction of the Nou Mestalla Stadium, Mallorca remodeling the Visit Mallorca Estadi, Real Betis building a new training facility, Granada enlarging the GFC training facility, Galicia Sports 360, and FC Cartadena building their new training facility.

But personally, I’m impressed with the opening of the ESC LaLiga & NBA sports and educational complex which opened in August. It is a multidisciplinary complex of sporting and academic experience, which is supposedly unique in the world. The 43,000 square meter complex will feature two football fields (one natural grass and the other one artificial), training areas, a basketball hall with three main courts, a high performance gym, a swimming pool, and a fully equipped residence for 450 people and its own school.

The enormous strides LaLiga has had in recent years shows that their structure is solid and from their point of view, the best is still yet to come.



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