LaLiga and SportBoost launch open call for fan engagement startups

LaLiga Tech and SportBoost have launched a call for technology startups, with the intention of capturing the most disruptive solutions in the field of Fan Engagement.

As part of their alliance, the team are seeking companies focused on fan engagement, data generation and monetisation to address industry challenges.

The team will look for projects that display strong growth potential, with a core focus on technological innovation for the creation of new experiences that bring fans closer to sport and can enable the commercialisation of new products and services.

The program’s team of scouts will analyse the strategic fit of the project in detail, look at elements such as its degree of maturity and innovation, teamwork, market potential and feasibility.

Companies may register via https://www.sportboost.es/challenge or by filling in this form, through which they will be able to provide more details of the solutions they will wish to present.

Selected projects will be eligible to participate in a Workshop led by LaLiga Tech and SportBoost program managers, in order to explore in detail the expectations of the project, as well as the project approach. After this final evaluation, LaLiga Tech will have the opportunity to decide which startup/s are selected to develop a pilot program for their solution.

In the case of a positive evaluation, a future relationship with the finalists could be established – as well as a potential investment by both entities, integration into the LaLiga Tech ecosystem, and potential entry into the SportBoost acceleration program.

SportBoost will contribute to the promotion, scouting, analysis and selection of startups with the aim of reinforcing LaLiga Tech and the wider industry in their commitment to global fan engagement.

LaLiga’s goal, through LaLiga Tech, is to accelerate the digital transformation of the sports and entertainment industry with a unique ecosystem of integrated technologies that it offers to its clients around the world. To support this, it has partnered with SportBoost to help startups increase their visibility globally, making it easier for them to perform at the highest level.

McDonald’s closing in on naming rights deal with Ligue 1

Fast food giant McDonald’s are edging ever closer to securing a three-year deal that would make them title sponsor of French football’s top-flight Ligue 1.

The deal will see the top division be renamed as ‘Ligue 1 McDonald’s’ and all branding of McDonald’s will be included in uses of the league logo.

The Professional Football League (LFP) currently has a title sponsorship deal with Uber Eats, that was last extended in November 2021 until the end of the 2023/24 season, which sees the food delivery platform pay around €17 million (AU$28.1 million) a year.

Reports suggested however that Uber Eats were looking to extend the deal but on cut-price deal due to the apparent lack of competition.

However, now McDonald’s has entered the bidding war, it’s believed to have made an offer worth €60 million (AU$99.3 million) over three years – a significant €3 million (AU$4.96 million) a year increase on the league’s current deal.

Reports also added that the Ligue 1 media team are in the process of writing up a press release for the deal with expected backlash. Whilst the leagues potential deal has been the butt of all jokes on social media, it is also expected to receive criticism due to the league associating itself with a brand known for its unhealthy foods.

McDonald’s are extremely involved in football, especially in Australia with the company partnered with FIFA for both the men’s and women’s world cups on top of the APL and multiple state federations locally.

Also important to note that this title sponsor deal with an expected revenue increase would net some vital additional income for the LFP with the organisation yet to lock down Ligue 1’s domestic broadcast rights for the 2024 to 2029 cycle after a long, gruelling standstill from multiple companies that has affected the league’s profits.

This naming rights deal has an element of risk to it with the potential for poor reputation and harsh criticism but the increase in funds per year will be a nice touch for the organisation.

It is imperative that the LFP manage communications correctly to ensure it goes smoothly and continue on their journey to improving league growth through the media division as they outlined back in mid-2023.

Borussia Dortmund and PRIME confirm partnership

Borussia Dortmund confirm PRIME hydration as the club’s official hydration partner in a bid to improve the club’s standing in North America.

Since its inception in 2022, PRIME Hydration is a sports drink alternative that has disrupted norms and completely blown up into the mainstream. Led by popular influencers KSI and Logan Paul, the brand has huge appeal in the US and now are expanding abroad.

In football, PRIME currently has deals with the biggest clubs in the world including Barcelona, Arsenal and Bayern Munich with a clear indication that PRIME are solely focused on attracting European consumers.

On social media, Dortmund’s fan base comprises more than 53 million people and the club have the highest average stadium attendance in world football. PRIME’s innovative hydration solutions and brand will be exposed worldwide to football fans.

Carsten Cramer, Chief Marketing Officer of BVB explained the move to target that huge US market through PRIME.

“BVB is very excited and proud that two ambitious brands have joined forces. PRIME is an upcoming brand with popular products, especially for younger people – a significant target audience for BVB to manifest its continuous growth,” Cramer said in a club statement.

“Therefore, we’re convinced that both brands will benefit tremendously through this partnership. BVB on the one hand will help Prime to conquer the German market and beyond whereas Prime will further elevate BVB’s brand especially in the US, its home market.”

PRIME co-founders KSI and Logan Paul expressed their excitement on adding another club to their portfolio.

“Witnessing the exponential growth of PRIME has been truly remarkable, and none of it would be possible without visionary partners like Borussia Dortmund. We are thrilled to align with such a prestigious and successful sports club, and we eagerly anticipate creating unforgettable moments with the club and for fans.” they said in a statement.

Borussia Dortmund also recently opened a New York office to further boost the brand’s presence in the North American continent.

This move isn’t as straightforward as other big leagues have made expansion look because of the German football fan culture.

Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke suggested that despite the German football fans’ opposition to outside investors, they wouldn’t be against expansion or new sources of revenue.

This deal with PRIME is a strategic long-term move by Borussia Dortmund to crack into the top clubs in world football on revenue and brand exposure by targeting an underutilised big market in the United States on the eve of a groundbreaking host 2026 World Cup.

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