China Digital LaLiga Strategy

Member Insights: Local Partnerships ‘Help Us To Create An Authentic Presence’, Says LaLiga’s Digital Strategy Director

By Community | June 9, 2020

With LaLiga returning to action later this week, take a read of iSportconnect’s conversation with Alfredo Bermejo, Digital Strategy Director, about why social partnerships such as their recent agreement with Douyin in China and Sportsnavi in Japan are key for the league.

Tell us about LaLiga and Douyin’s new partnership, how did this partnership come about?

“We first started working with Douyin when LaLiga joined TikTok over a year ago. There was a mutual aim to reach and engage a youthful audience with football content and we’ve been successful in this. A joint campaign we created to celebrate the season kick-off in August had over 61 million views in 108 countries.”

What will this partnership offer you, is it a way to reach a new sector of people and expand the worldwide LaLiga fanbase?

“Douyin is the fastest-growing social network in China and has a very engaged user base. Partnering with the organisation is a great way for us to introduce LaLiga clubs to a Chinese audience, which is increasingly demanding more football content and building its knowledge of other leagues.”

Why is this an important step for LaLiga, is it key to try and engage with the huge market that China provides?

“China has been an important part of our internationalisation programme since the beginning but it is essential that we take a glocal approach, meaning that our campaigns have local relevance. Strong local partners, such as Douyin, can help us expand in markets in the best possible way.”

How can partnerships such as this one, and the Sportsnavi deal you agreed in Japan this past week, help to benefit the league?

“First and foremost, it helps the fans. Being able to access more information about the competition and its clubs, in local language, creates a stronger connection and helps to expand our audience. For LaLiga, it helps us to create an authentic presence in these markets, working with organisations who are based there and share our objectives to grow football’s fanbase globally.”

As people in this market are much less able to watch live LaLiga games, how does your digital strategy change and differ compared to Europe and other regions?

“Our calendar is designed to ensure that as many LaLiga matches as possible can be enjoyed live by our global fans. Every week, between three and four matches kick-off at a convenient time for Chinese followers. But in any case, our digital strategy does not depend only on live football.

“We always aim to adapt our message to the most relevant type of content and platform for each user, something that in the case of China is even more important given the special characteristics of that market. This has led us to get to know our fans better in that market and to be present on the main platforms for them, as is the case with Douyin. Content that explores individual player stories, the latest news and short-form videos, such as TikTok, has proven successful.”

In other LaLiga news

With the return on Thursday the 11th of June for the resumption of the 2019/20 season, to mark the occasion the league has put together a series of national and international initiatives that will raise excitement ahead of the return of football and demonstrate that the competition is #BackToWin. 

There will be 160 initiatives in over 50 countries, including digital and in-person events, media campaigns, prize draws, competitions and influencer campaigns. Activities also include exhibitions of LaLiga club kits hanging above Spanish cities, projecting fan photos onto iconic buildings using video mapping and urban art exhibitions in 12 cities across the world.

“All these initiatives are going to cover five continents which strengthens LaLiga’s global image. They’ll help us tell our fans that we’re #BackToWin and we’re counting on them. The return of LaLiga is a moment that so many have waited a long time for and we’re going to celebrate it in style,” said Oscar Mayo, LaLiga’s director of business, marketing and international development.

Kit canopies above the streets

LaLiga Santander club kits are one of the competition’s identifying features and will be showcased through hanging exhibitions to generate a buzz ahead of the restart. 

Madrid (Calle Preciados), Seville (Calle Tetuan) and Bilbao (Arenal Bridge) will display these exhibitions between 8 and 11 June. The kits, which will carry the #BackToWin message, will create a colourful canopy to get fans in the mood before the competition resumes.

Video mapping projections onto iconic buildings

Also this week, the league will give exposure to the real stars of the competition: the fans. It has invited supporters of LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank clubs to take photos in their respective kits and to share them in order to feature in a unique projection campaign. 

The images will be projected onto important buildings in various Spanish cities using video mapping on 10 and 11 June. These will be accompanied by a video that pays tribute to the fans of LaLiga who represent the soul of the competition.

The Golden Tower in Seville, the Puerta del Sol and City Hall in Madrid, San Mames stadium and the tourist office in Bilbao and L’Hemisfèric in the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia are the locations where these images and video will be projected.

An international return 

These LaLiga initiatives are not restricted to Spain, with over 80 expected to be rolled out globally.

Among these initiatives, urban art commissioned by LaLiga will appear in 12 cities across five continents, including Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Lagos, Hong Kong, London and Paris. These artworks, displaying the colours and values of the competition, are designed to unite different countries and cultures through football and LaLiga.

Support from sponsors

To increase the impact of the competition’s return, these initiatives will be supported by national and international sporting figures, who have already affiliated themselves with some activities and will continue to do so in the coming days. 

Major companies and partners of LaLiga are also supporting the return, such as Banco Santander, PUMA, EA Sports, Budweiser, Rexona, BKT, LiveScore, El Corte Ingles, Samsung, Panini, Deliveroo, Allianz, STIHL, Mazda, Danone, Marques del Atrio, VITALDENT, Mail Boxes and RENFE.

Some of these have released their own campaigns with content that is linked to LaLiga and promotes #BackToWin, ensuring that they are part of this global event. 

An example of one such campaign is #LaLigaBouncesBack, an initiative by PUMA and LaLiga involving 32 sports stars that celebrates the return of the competition. The video features stars from the United States, South Africa and Australia among others as well LaLiga Santander players such as Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Santi Cazorla, Marc Bartra, Suso and Jan Oblak.

China Digital LaLiga Strategy