LaLiga’s celebrates five years in India, the Spanish topflight leagues initiatives have impacted 20,000+ youth across the country
LaLiga, one of the most followed European football leagues in the world, celebrates its fifth anniversary since establishing local presence in India. The bid to increase accessibility for local fans has also led to numerous other success stories in these five years, including a 2000% increase in social audience, establishment of several grassroots development initiatives that have impacted more than 20,000 youth in the country, creation of strong relationships with local partners and strengthening ties with Indian fans. The five-year anniversary was celebrated in the presence of Mr. Jose Antonio Cachaza (Managing Director – LaLiga India) and Ms. Aakriti Vohra (LaLiga Delegate).
LaLiga has had a fan base in India since a couple decades, owing to the passionate fans who were keen to follow the best footballers and top clubs, many of which are a part of the Spanish top-flight league. Recognising that and the potential the Indian audience presents, LaLiga decided to open its second Asian office in New Delhi in 2016 and establish a team with local and Spanish football administrative experts. In the time period since, LaLiga has accomplished and surpassed several of its objectives, with the pioneering one being increasing the connection with fans in the country. Through unique experiences and initiatives across different parts and partnerships with local brands, including a broadcast partnership with one of India’s leading media companies, Viacom18, it has been able to increase the fan following on social media by 2000%, going from 300,000 when LaLiga started working in the country to 6,400,000+ in 2022. Another key objective has been to develop football at the grassroots level to work towards bringing India to the global stage in football. Major initiatives like LaLiga Football Schools, work with the Rural Development Trust (Vicente Ferrer Foundation) and more have created a substantial impact on the regions they operate in, with LaLiga’s grassroots programs impacting 20,000+ youth. LaLiga has also established strong relationships with various Indian stakeholders including Dream11, BKT and HeroVired and works closely with influential Indian sportspeople like Rohit Sharma to create a holistic and impactful experience for the fans in the country. The association with Dream11 as LaLiga’s official fantasy game partner in India was inked in 2019 and since then, LaLiga has become the fastest growing international football fantasy league on the platform.
Oscar Mayo, Executive Director, LaLiga, said, “Five years ago, we embarked on an ambitious mission to bring the entertainment and emotion of LaLiga to more fans around the world and to help grow football as a sport everywhere. We are very proud that LaLiga and its main protagonists, clubs, players, coaches, are closer today to more people around the world than ever before. That said, this is just the beginning, together with clubs and with the support of our new partner CVC we will give our international efforts a massive boost.”
Speaking about the anniversary, Jose Antonio Cachaza, Managing Director, LaLiga India, said, “As we celebrate five years of being in India, we want to thank our fans and partners in the country for having helped us achieve so much more than we imagined. The 2000% growth in social audience is an exciting number, but a big outcome cannot be measured – how we have deepened our connection with local fans. For the future, we are looking forward to making more meaningful contributions towards improving grassroots football in the country and delivering the best possible experience for the Indian football fans.”
2022 also marks five years of LaLiga’s global fan engagement and international growth, with the LaLiga Global Network program being launched in 2017. The league’s ambitious international expansion strategy now covers 90 countries and has become one of the identifying traits of its growth; it is the main channel through which the passion of Spanish football has reached all corners of the planet, with more and more people falling in love with LaLiga and enjoying its spectacle week, week out. This growing interest in Spanish football and the greater visibility on the pitch has led to a 30% increase since 2015/16 in the global audiences for the broadcasts of LaLiga matches. This, in turn, has meant a rise of 247% in the value of the competition’s international audiovisual rights since 2013/14 and a boost to the value of LaLiga’s brand, with the number of sponsors growing fivefold in the same period.
LaLiga is a global, innovative and socially responsible organisation which is a leader in the leisure and entertainment sector. It is a private sports association composed of the 20 public limited sports companies (SADs) and clubs of LaLiga Santander and the 22 of LaLiga SmartBank, and is responsible for organising professional football competitions in Spain. LaLiga is the football competition with the most social media followers in the world, with over 140 million followers across 16 platforms in 15 different languages. With its headquarters in Madrid (Spain), it is present in 41 countries through eleven offices and 44 delegates. The organisation carries out its social work through its foundation and was the world’s first professional football league to establish a league for intellectually challenged footballers: LaLiga Genuine Santander.
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Preety Chaudhary/New Delhi/Updated on: January 18th ,2022