As of March, LaLiga became the third-largest competition in the digital universe, with more than 155 million followers on 17 different platforms, behind only the NBA and the Champions League.
This figure might seem irrelevant in comparison to the global audience that the Spanish football competition has via traditional media, such as TV or the press, but it is a clear example of how fans around the world are connecting through modern formats and how LaLiga’s Fan Engagement strategy is proving to be an unprecedented success.
However, this massive reach is not a coincidence, but the result of hard work managed and implemented throughout the organisation. Thus, the first step is to understand who and where the fans are, as well as their interests, a key element of the daily work carried out by LaLiga Global Network, which was launched more than 5 years ago and currently covers 90 countries and includes 11 international offices and Joint Ventures in North America and China.
Alfredo Bermejo, LaLiga’s director of digital strategy, explains: “The international network has helped LaLiga to better understand the markets in which we seek to engage new followers and to analyse existing ones, which has made it easier for us to create regular content across 17 different social media platforms. Thanks to local specialists, LaLiga has been able, not only to understand its local audience, but also to anticipate the interests and needs of fans in each region.”
As a result, LaLiga has become a global brand that, thanks to its glocal strategy, is able to connect and engage with fans all over the world, to the point of having a brand identity that is recognised all over the world thanks to the global content created in each of its areas of activity.
Building lasting relationships through tailor-made content
LaLiga creates content adapted to each market and platform, which allows for the establishment of closer ties with every fan who follows the competition, regardless of their age, gender or nationality. In fact, LaLiga now regularly generates content in more than 20 languages and has a presence on platforms all over the world.
How does LaLiga create a strong and lasting relationship with audiences? The digital revolution has given rise to an ever-increasing variety of content and formats that impact audiences across various platforms.
Building a strong relationship with fans is not only about understanding the key content type or platform, but also about analysing the amount of time the user spends consuming entertainment, as users are now connected 24 hours a day and choose how to spend their leisure time from the various entertainment options available to them.
Against this backdrop, it is clear that one of LaLiga’s main objectives is to establish a strong relationship with the fans. Bermejo explains: “First, we focus on building and expanding the LaLiga community, and then we start a conversation with those fans, creating a connection with them and ultimately getting a return on that investment.”
“LaLiga achieves all of this by implementing a content strategy that connects with fans around the world, adds value and generates interesting content that informs and entertains. By doing so, we collect information from fans about the content they like the most and the methods to convert them into die-hard fans and consumers of LaLiga content,” concludes LaLiga’s director of digital strategy.
New formats for younger generation
Despite the success in establishing connections with fans, it is necessary to bear in mind that content should be divided according to the age of the audience.
In fact, in recent years, LaLiga has been working on different content plans that seek to engage younger generations, with the aim of bringing LaLiga closer to new generations of users who consume football in a different way.
For example, the trends and tastes of Generation Z are constantly changing and evolving, so it is essential that LaLiga understands how to react and adapt in an agile way.
“Being able to create interesting content that suits their consumption habits is essential if you want to win over this generation’s fans and capture their attention during their leisure time. Therefore, LaLiga is always open to experimenting with new formats and exploring any possibilities that come its way; is prepared and vigilant so as to take advantage of any opportunities that arise,” specifies Bermejo.
A notable case this season is how LaLiga has taken a big step in its involvement with TikTok, a platform whose audience is largely made up of young people. The Spanish organisation’s number of followers grew by 4.5 million in 2021/22, thanks to the engaging and customised content it offers, often featuring influencers.
For example, LaLiga launched a programme called Play LaLiga which is broadcast exclusively on TikTok in a vertical format and the viewing figures so far have been impressive.
In addition, following a pioneering agreement reached between Mediapro, LaLiga and TikTok, the Real Sociedad-Real Betis match in the 2021/22 season was the first football match in history – not only in Spain, but from any major European league – to be broadcast by GOLTV in 9:16 format on TikTok.
The landmark broadcast attracted 733,000 views, 68,000 comments in the chat, 7,000 shares and 1.2 million likes, and represented a further step in the challenge and commitment of meeting the content demands of new audiences and adapting to the new habits of an increasingly connected and interactive digital ecosystem.
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