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How La Liga continues to excel through its global fan engagement strategy

Millions of fans and consumers around the world engage with La Liga’s digital platforms on a daily basis.

This provides those in the Spanish competition’s digital strategy department with a rich depth of data to analyse and dissect.

La Liga has continued to emphasise collecting data in recent years and in turn has generated significant benefits for clubs, broadcasters, sponsors and fans of Spanish football.

The Spanish competition, through its digital strategy department, construct differing data-driven strategies with the overall intention of boosting fan engagement and fan loyalty.

Recently speaking at the Nextv Sport Europe conference, La Liga head of consumer strategy Olivia Archanco further explained: “We work on data-driven strategies that make the complex matter of big data simple. We analyse data in a structured way that helps us generate user information that can be used to build awareness, engagement and conversion, while at the same time earning greater loyalty of fans.”

Building customer loyalty

La Liga deliberately splits the users who engage with it digital platforms (such as the official competition website, its app or its OTT service LaLigaSportsTV) into three sperate categories. Those categories are guests – who navigate without signing up, prospects – who provide some demographic information and lastly, registered users.

Registered users, either through filling out an online form or signing in through their social media profile, disclose information that improves La Liga’s data ecosystem and further shape the league’s consumer strategy.

“With all this information from the different platforms that we manage, we are getting a very detailed picture of the fan,” Archanco said.

“We know if they are following a club, if they are season ticket holders, if they play our Fantasy game or if they are watching other sports on the OTT.”

Through this approach fans receive an efficient digital experience with La Liga as these data-driven strategies are more likely to show a user content or information that they are interested in.

“The information is used for personalisation purposes,” Archanco continued.

“We engage better with consumers when we know their age, the city where they live or the interests they have. We can direct fans towards conversion and, through those, can provide better services that are much more targeted and personalised. We do this in a natural way, not aggressively and not spamming people.”

Benefits for commercial partners

In addition to satisfying fans, this approach also brings significant returns for sponsors, broadcasters and other commercial partners.

“The more we know about our users, the better we can strategise and activate with wider stakeholders,” Archanco said.

“For sponsors, they are traditionally looking to generate more awareness and they ask for exposure, but this is changing,” she added.

“In this sense, we feel we are able to provide an added value as we can not only generate awareness but also engagement. We can generate leads and clicks and, on top of that, we are also helping them to generate conversation.”

In a recent example which showed how effective this can be, assisted by the competition’s business intelligence (BI) and analytics teams, one of the league’s sponsors ran a new campaign using user data from sources like Facebook, leading to thousands of customer orders. The campaign was a huge success and also saved the partner 90 percent of the cost when compared to spending in previous campaigns.

Ultimately, insights generated by La Liga highlight an asset that can benefit partners all over the world. The competition’s global network delegates, who give the league a physical presence in over 80 countries, are collaborating with BI and analytics teams and providing additional local insights that complement the data.

This information can help sponsors or broadcasters guide their own content and better position their local offerings.

“Through personalisation, we are able to provide different content for different countries or segments,” Archanco explained.

Support for clubs to become data-driven

La Liga itself is also supporting clubs who might not have the resources to efficiently gather and analyse data themselves.

“We have learned how to play the music and now we want to share it with the clubs as well,” Archanco stated.

“They can just jump in and they don’t have to invest and reinvent the wheel. We help them to go very fast.

“Instead of investing years and years in building all this infrastructure and investing a lot of money on it, what we offer clubs is almost a plug-and-play functionality,” she continued.

As well as this, the Spanish competition offers consultancy services for clubs who are interested, helping them create campaigns and acquisition strategies.

Agencies, who specialise in developing narratives and improving storytelling are also available to clubs.

“We are working to help the digitalisation process so that we can reduce the gap between the big clubs and the rest,” Archanco said.

“We think that this is going to affect the competition because we’re helping clubs to be more innovative and to build a better narrative with their consumers and fans. They will gain more support, more income and get closer to the bigger teams. I think this is something that will benefit the whole of La Liga. It’s good for everyone to be on a more equal footing.”

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Burnley FC Women and TikTok announce an exclusive first for football

Burnley TikTok

Burnley Football Club and TikTok have announced a partnership which will see the English Premier League club livestream every home match of Burnley FC Women’s 2021/22 season as part of a multi-year deal.

Burnley FC Women will become the first team to have their games streamed live on TikTok – which will also become the team’s sleeve sponsor – as it undergoes significant expansion as part of the club’s new women’s football strategy.

The Clarets will be looking to collaborate with football content creators as part of the partnership, a facet which will also help Burnley FC Women’s players with building their own profiles on the platform.

With the club announcing a long-term roadmap to professionalise the Women’s side in February, this partnership is a major step towards strengthening the club’s footprint in women’s football, particularly because this will mark the first season that Burnley FC Women’s games will be available to watch live.

The Clarets will also be further integrating the team with Burnley FC Women set to play under the same Burnley FC crest as the men for the first-time next season and no longer sit as a separate team within the club.

Burnley FC Chairman Alan Pace was delighted to link with TikTok ahead of the 2021/22 season.

“This is a hugely exciting partnership and another first for Burnley Football Club. Innovation is a key component to our plans at Burnley and this partnership with a fantastic, progressive brand like TikTok completely fits into our vision for the club’s future and embracing digital audiences,” he said.

“Growing our presence in women’s football was an early goal when taking over the club and this is the latest step towards that. We hope this deal will bring our club and players to a new generation of fans and I’m delighted that from next season we’ll truly be one club for all – one team, under one crest.”

Strategic Partner Manager at Sport TikTok, Arthur Guisasola, echoed Pace’s sentiments.

“TikTok has become a vibrant hub of sports content in the last two years with football fans, teams and players alike coming to TikTok to share their passion, so we are thrilled to announce this unique partnership with Burnley FC Women,” he said.

“This partnership with Burnley will give football fans access to the home matches and exclusive content from the Burnley FC Women’s team; following their journey during what promises to be an exciting season.”

DAZN and YouTube come together to stream Women’s Champions League

UEFA Women's Champions League

Sports streaming platform DAZN have announced a new four-year global broadcasting partnership with YouTube which will see the UEFA Women’s Champions League taken to new heights from season 2021/22.

In a unique first for the competition, the deal will greatly increase exposure to women’s football as the UEFA Women’s Champions League introduces an inaugural 16-team group stage. For supporters, this will ensure unprecedented access to one of the fastest-growing football competitions around the world.

During the first two seasons (2021/22 and 2022/23), fans will be able to watch all 61 matches live and on demand from the group stage onward. This will be shown on DAZN, and free on their YouTube channel. For the following two seasons (2023/24 and 2024/25), all 61 matches will be shown live on DAZN, while 19 matches will be free to view on the YouTube channel.

The multi-year deal grants DAZN exclusive rights worldwide, with the exception of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – where rights include clips and highlights – as well as China.

The agreement signifies another game-changing move in UEFA’s and its partners’ global commitment to women’s sport. It is one of the largest broadcast deals in women’s club football history.

“Two years ago, when we launched UEFA’s first ever women’s football strategy, ‘Time for Action’, we promised action that will lead to a greater, more professional and more prosperous game by 2024. Several initiatives have since followed and this summer is a giant leap in that direction,” UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said.

“We are delighted to announce the start of a four-year global partnership with DAZN and YouTube. For the first two seasons, fans around the world can access and watch for free all matches, enabling fans to follow the competition and the very best players in the world. There is no better way to inspire future generations of young girls and boys to play football. Women’s football is here to stay and will only grow stronger.”

The partnership follows UEFA’s decision to create a new format for the Women’s Champions League, with the new group stage accompanied by centralised media and sponsorship rights, which will lead to a significant increase of revenues. This has built the foundation for the recently announced pioneering financial distribution model, where $38.7m will be spread throughout women’s football in Europe.

“This deal is a first for women’s football as this partnership between UEFA and DAZN and YouTube will make sure that the UEFA Women’s Champions League can be seen by the fans, by all the people who love this game, wherever they are on the globe,” UEFA chief of women’s football Nadine Kessler said.

“Such visibility changes everything, as the best female players and best women’s teams in the world can inspire more young girls and boys to fall in love with this sport. Together, we are all bringing women’s football to the world and everyone who will tune in will truly make a difference to something bigger.”

Taka Grips: The high-performance grip socks making a difference

Taka Grips is a high-performance grip socks company based in Sydney, with the overall aim of improving player performance and comfort on the field.

Liam McConaghy, the founder of the business, explained to Soccerscene that his own personal experiences of discomfort on the pitch inspired him to find a viable solution to issues affecting his game.

“It was actually November last year, so not that long ago, we started back at preseason – I play in NPL NSW and I was signed for St George at the time,” he said.

“What happened was we were training on an artificial turf on a Sunday and it was really hot (it was coming into summer) and my feet were just getting torn to shreds.

“There were just the worst blisters and I could feel the friction inside my boot – so I thought to myself I need to find a fix and investigated what all this grip sock business was about.”

He personally never had owned a pair of grip socks, but was left dismayed by the prices he saw online for the item, which prompted him to try and start his own business.

“I got online to buy some and they were $70 a pair,” McConaghy said.

“So, I guess I just had a thought to myself (about creating the business), it just sort of started off as one of those ideas.”

A PE and Design and Technology teacher by trade, McConaghy used his expertise in these areas to devise his product at a much more affordable price of $30.

“I have got a bit of experience and training with graphic design and that sort of thing, so I had a bit of a play around and contacted some suppliers and manufacturers and eventually, one thing led to another.”

The sock itself is made with durable and lightweight material, however its custom grip placement and advanced technology is specifically beneficial for players looking to improve their change of direction, speed, agility and enhance their comfort.

“The socks have got these little grip pads that are basically pressed into the socks through a high-heat glue gun,” McConaghy said.

“I’ve strategically placed them all over the bottom of the sock in places where you would have the most pressure inside your boot. So for example, around the ball of the foot and the back of the heel – I made sure mine came up the back of the foot, so you wouldn’t get that slippage in the back of your boot where a lot of the blisters happen.

“Essentially what happens is you don’t slide around in your boot, so without any friction in your boot you don’t get blisters and it’s better for your movement.”

Taka Grip Socks – White

Although only recently launching the business, the socks have gathered an immediate following and appreciation from professional football players in the A-League and around the world, in leagues such as the J-League.

“I’ve pretty much been playing NPL1 since I was 14 years old, I used to play with the likes of Massimo Luongo and Aaron Mooy,” McConaghy said.

“So, I’ve got old contacts through playing and reached out to a few people and asked if they’d like to wear them, which they were more than happy to and from there more doors have opened.”

Other professional players from different codes including NRL and AFL have also been using the product, with the socks now entering more sports department stores around Australia.

Social media, particularly the company’s Instagram page, has increased the profile of the grip socks to a wider audience, but possible future partnerships with football clubs and state federations across Australia is a logical next step, according to McConaghy.

“While I have thought about expanding into different clothing down the line, firstly it would be good to be able to get some clubs onboard with Taka Grips through a sponsorship, supplying the whole club from juniors through to first grade,” he said.

In the present however, McConaghy is proud of the work he has done so far and how quickly the product has already grown.

“I am very proud, because it sort of just started out of nowhere,” he said.

“I literally just thought let’s give it a crack, apart from some help from my girlfriend I’ve pretty much done it all myself.

“It makes me proud, especially when I look at the calibre of people who are wearing them.”

For more information on Taka Grips visit their website here: https://www.takagrips.com.au/

 

 

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