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Monday, September 3, 2018

Spanish League will play official games in the US

Por Jade

The Spanish League will celebrate for the first time in history official matches outside Europe, in the United States. It is one of the plans of the 15-year agreement signed between LaLiga and Relevent, a multinational media, sports and entertainment company, to promote football in the United States and Canada. "The goal of this extraordinary 'joint venture' is for the culture of football to grow in the United States. It will be a big step in its growing popularity," said Stephen Ross, a US businessman and principal owner, among other firms, of Relevent, the Miami Dolphins of the NFL and the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

The celebration of the game or matches of the Spanish League will be completed as soon as possible. The idea is that there is already a match this season and, predictably, with Barça or Real Madrid as one of the contenders. The Spanish League and Relevent, which will form a new organization called LaLiga North America, adopt an idea of promotion and expansion similar to that carried out by the main professional sports of the United States such as the NBA, the American Football (NFL), the Baseball League (MLB) or the Ice Hockey League (NHL).

For some years, these leagues have held official matches outside of North America. "I like soccer, I like all sports. This agreement will help to grow in a country where we were all disappointed by not being able to play the World Cup. Hopefully we can play next and see that football has grown exponentially when the 2026 is played here," says Ross. On the celebration of official matches in the United States, Javier Tebas, president of La Liga, said: "If the NBA or the NFL play games outside their environment or their countries, why will not the Spanish League. It is important to develop our brand. It is among our short- or medium-term objectives to bring a game of the Spanish League every year to the United States."

On the disadvantages or competitive grievances that could occur, the president of the LFP warns: "It would never be organized against the interests of the participants. We would see which teams can agree. And what compensations and communication strategies would be carried out. We have changed many things in the last four years, some with a lot of response. Then it was seen that it was ideal. In order to grow as an industry, we do not decide things for what they will say ".

Relevent is the company that organizes the International Champions Cup (ICC) since 2013. It competes this year, in different cities on five continents but mostly in the United States, 18 of the most important clubs in the world, including Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid. It was precisely on the occasion of the classic between Real Madrid and Barcelona, ​​held in July of 2017, in Miami and organized by Relevent, when the meetings that led to the agreement between LaLiga and the US firm came to fruition. "We work in the search for sponsorships that entails, not only an economic income, which is not the main thing, but the activation of the brand with a sponsor," says Tebas.

The Real Madrid or Barcelona brands have expanded during the last years in the United States. Tebas now wants the LaLiga brand to expand in the same way. "Relevent has filled stadiums throughout the United States with the ICC. It is the firm that can help us grow in the United States, not only in a very competitive market in football, but in the sports industry. The brands Barça and Madrid are very well introduced. It is also necessary to develop the LaLiga brand and thus benefit the brand from the rest of the Spanish clubs."

According to a 2016 study, of the 47 million fans that the United States has, 33 million are followers of the League. And 30% of Americans interested in world football are Hispanic. "Unite with Relevent to create LaLiga North America is a great milestone in our strategy of international expansion," said Oscar Mayo, director of international development for the League. A week ago, La Liga announced an agreement to issue the Spanish championship in India and seven other countries in South Asia through Facebook, an agreement worth about ninety million euros. The League will also be seen in the UK through Facebook thanks to Eleven Sports.