Real Agree to Lucrative ‘Visit Spain, Visit Madrid’ Campaign

By Community | March 4, 2011

A lucrative three-year deal has been agreed between Spanish soccer giant Real Madrid and the capital’s Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce and the Community and City of Madrid to promote holidays in the city and the rest of the country.

The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Özil and Spain captain Iker Casillas will act as ambassadors for Spanish tourism and appear in promotional campaigns, including television advertisements.

Additionally, the tourist board will also have a presence in the team’s home Santiago Bernabeu stadium, on billboards and LED perimeter hoardings adorned with the slogan “Visit Spain, visit Madrid”.

The campaign hopes to reach an audience of 300 million worldwide through coverage of Real Madrid’s home matches, most notably El Clásico, their 17th April meeting with bitter rivals and Liga BBVA leaders Barcelona.

However, the deal has proved controversial in some quarters, with Barcelona-based newspaper Sport objecting to the decision to pay Real an annual US$4.58m of taxpayers’ money as Spain embarks on an aggressive programme of fiscal spending cuts. The paper also voiced its disappointment that other top Spanish clubs, such as Valencia and Barcelona, were not included in the project.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said: “Our history and legend have made Real Madrid a universal team, but its grandeur begins in Madrid and Spain. For over 100 years it has been one of the most relevant references of this country and we have proudly carried the Madrid name around the world. We humbly accept this responsibility and we will carry it out with hard work, talent and commitment; values that identify with Madridismo.”

Alberto Ruiz Gallardon, the mayor of Madrid, described Real as “this city’s most important asset”, adding: “In large part it belongs to all Spaniards, because you are ambassadors of Spain.”

The minister of industry, tourism and commerce Miguel Sebastien said: “Real Madrid is an icon of Spain. It is a winning team and one of the most visible clubs on an international level, but what we must promote is its culture of hard work and the excellence in its genes.”

The Spanish national team, who are currently world and European champions, are also involved in a US$1.18m “Visit Spain” promotional campaign.

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