THE quality of Real Madrid, Atletico and Barcelona are undeniable, having dominated the Europa Champions League for years. But La Liga pales in comparison with the likes of England’s competitive Premier League, where a Cinderella story like Leicester is always a possibility.
While La Liga has always seemed secondary to its biggest clubs, it now wants to raise the profile of its 17 other teams.
This year has seen it open offices in New York, Singapore, Johannesburg and Beijing, and hire past greats like Raul to serve as global ambassadors of the Spanish game.
Each office has come with academies, scouting and coaching programmes and community projects, all in a bid to portray a friendly image and build up a network of global local supporters.
“We think it’s very important that we are seen as their friends,” said La Liga’s director of sales and marketing Adolfo Bara, “We call ourselves the ‘Liga Amiga’, the friendly league. That means that we want to be seen as the property that helps to develop football in the different markets, but with a very humble approach.”
They are also hoping to increase quality and volume of their global media rights sales. Broadcaster’s looking to show their games must commit to three live games every weekend both on TV and online.
“The way to increase the value of the rights is to increase the value of the brand,” said Bara, “so that’s why we want to increase our presence in different markets.”
The League recently closed their first centralised global TV deal worth €1.6bn, and is aiming to increase it by €2.5bn in the next sales cycle.