Supporting the digitalisation of the clubs of LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank is the main objective for LaLiga’s Department of Digital Strategy.
This backing has been in place for more than five seasons and is based on three key pillars. The first is to provide all clubs with a strategy that can enhance their business opportunities in different settings and markets, opening them up to the world and helping them reach different and more global audiences.
The second is to increase the international popularity of the clubs, working in a coordinated way to make an impact in strategic markets where their brands can grow. Finally, the last key aspect is to provide the clubs with sufficient technological resources so that they can position themselves as innovative businesses.
To this end, the LaLiga department that is led by Alfredo Bermejo is working on four major strategic projects that are linked to digitalisation: social media in China, eLaLiga Santander, app and website platforms for clubs and the DataDriven service.
eLaLiga Santander: The best competition in the world
LaLiga is developing and managing the official FIFA competition for Spain, as well as other tournaments linked to this. This is a significant project and one that was launched in 2018, with 38 LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank clubs currently participating. The objectives of this project are to connect with Generation Z, to strengthen the relationship of LaLiga and the clubs with EA Sports, a key partner in the industry, and to generate leads among a high-value target audience. Furthermore, another priority for this project is being the best eSports league in the world.
Making an impact in China through social media
When it comes to the major social media internationalisation project, this is linked to China. The members of LaLiga’s Department of Digital Strategy are fully involved in managing the clubs’ accounts in the Asian country, carrying out verification, reporting and content creation.
In the 2017/18 season, only 11 of 13 clubs that had a social media presence in China would publish content regularly. One season later, with the start of the project led by LaLiga, the number rose to 26 clubs, with all of them putting out regular and quality content. In 2019/20, the number of clubs reached 31, with 19 of them having Weibo accounts that were managed by LaLiga. In 2020/21, 20 of the 32 clubs with a social media presence in China were publishing content on Weibo that was coordinated by LaLiga.
This project doesn’t cost these clubs anything, while the ownership of the accounts remains with the clubs as well as the decision-making process for the content that is published. LaLiga provides the clubs with a dedicated team of social media managers, professionals who specialise in the Chinese market and who work on the scheduling and creation of original content, the verification of accounts and the calculation and analysis of the most important metrics.
Placing the fan at the centre of the strategy
Another initiative is the DataDriven Project, which is coordinated by the Digital Strategy team to make it available to clubs. Its objective is to create a plan for the relationship between a club and its fans, trying to increase the number of fans, build loyalty and monetise the relationship with them.
There are 28 clubs involved in this project (including one team that isn’t currently at the professional level), with these clubs able to enjoy direct control over the data, as well as the ability to identify the needs of their fans. As part of this project, there are predictive AI algorithms that allow for control of over-saturation, under-saturation and optimisation of when exactly to send out information. This service also allows for the activation of automatic journeys that are adapted to the user’s life cycle and that are oriented towards revenue generation (ROI).
Another of the Department of Digital Strategy’s global projects for clubs is the creation of a platform for the LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank clubs to run their official websites and apps. There are already 28 clubs signed up to the official apps project and 30 clubs for the official websites programme. With both of these platforms, there are no economic costs for the clubs involved and they can benefit from cutting-edge functions.
One objective with these platforms is to increase engagement and to implement the gateway for capturing registration data, looking for synergy with the DataDriven project. In addition, the features of the new platforms can improve the layout and functions the clubs have available.
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