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Four years on, LaLiga’s international focus is paying off in sponsorship

Network of local delegates grown from scratch has helped increase the pace of regional commercial growth League targets regional partners that reinforce its own appeal though grassroots football or exposure As Covid-19 rages, league targets FMCG, insurance and IT as areas its expects to bounce back quickly Since LaLiga put internationalisation at the heart of its commercial growth plans in 2016, the Spanish league operator has increased its international presence to 84 countries and – as a result – grown its sponsor portfolio five-fold. According to Fergus Geekie, who has overseen global sponsorship sales since joining LaLiga as head of international and commercial marketing in June 2019, the creation of 46 ‘delegates’ – permanent employees whose role is to bring knowledge of specific territories to all parts of LaLiga’s business – has been vital to this growth. Speaking to SportBusiness this month, he said: “They’re a great asset for us because they can provide the local market knowledge we would not otherwise have in places like Vietnam, Nigeria or Colombia. “They are also important because they allow us to demonstrate to local and global partners and prospects that we have resources on the ground that can help when activating and communicating. ” Most of the delegates were developed by LaLiga as part of its ‘Global Network’, the talent identification strand that has underpinned its internationalisation strategy since 2016. Aggressive internationalisation – in sponsorship as well as in media, which is the priority for most leagues – has been at the heart of LaLiga’s attempts to bridge the commercial gap to the English Premier League during the incumbency of Javier Tebas as its president.

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