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.

LALIGA’s 10-year academy plan showing early signs of success

LALIGA’s Academy Plan, which was introduced in 2023, has grown 30% from the previous year and where clubs had already seen 20% growth since its implementation.

With over half of the clubs achieving 60-70% of the goals in the initial phase of the Plan, this collaborative effort solidifies the expectations for this 10-year project, showcasing LALIGA’s global leadership in grassroots football development.

LALIGA introduced this plan to reinforce their commitment to creating a sustainable model of youth development that would help the clubs in both La Liga and Segunda Division make profit in the transfer market thanks to the high market value of home-grown players.

Not surprising considering the dire financial situation of many Spanish clubs and leagues.

All 42 LALIGA clubs were invited to the 8th Academy Meeting, which was hosted by Real Sporting at two historic locations: Estadio El Molinón in Gijon and the newly renovated Mareo training complex.

This Academy Meeting discussed many important factors of the plan and served as a setting for the presentation of two new developments: the results of a questionnaire shared with the clubs themselves showing their most important requirements, and a study containing data on youth players in Spanish professional football.

These were the results:

  • Participation in LALIGA First Division of youth players registered in reserve teams increased by 33% compared to last season.
  • Over the last two seasons, youth players registered in reserve teams generated a market value of $452.31 million in their debut season in the LALIGA First Division alone.
  • Youth players generated $278.21 million in LALIGA First Division and $69.78 million in LALIGA 2 through transfers to other clubs. This data only takes into account youth players playing for the first team.
  • 95% of the youth players registered in reserve teams and participating with the first team are of Spanish nationality, something that will have a positive impact on the national team.

The Plan’s success is evident with youth players contributing significantly to the league’s competitiveness and market value.

As the country impresses on the Euros stage with homegrown talent like Lamine Yamal, Nico Williams and Pedri just to name a few, it’s imperative for future success that this plan continues to grow and showcase the country’s best talent that is evidently out there.

This initiative is proving that LALIGA remains a global leader in nurturing homegrown talent, with a high percentage of youth players participating in top European leagues and boosting national team performance, which is helping with their goal of a sustainable development system.

Sydney FC’s vision to expand its influence in Asia through coaching

Sydney FC is currently on a mission to expand its influence across Asia, with a dedicated focus on nurturing young talent and empowering coaches in the region.

Head of Academy Nick Susko and Head of Fan Engagement Howard Fondyke are currently in Singapore running coaching clinics and coach education sessions with the country’s rising stars.

During their visit, Susko and Fondyke engaged with a diverse group of ages and genders, working closely with over 160 boys and girls over the past week.

In addition to their coaching roles, Fondyke also was a guest speaker at SportsPro’s Conference at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, where he shared the club’s fan engagement strategy to a network of interested local business leaders.

Fondyke also touched on Sydney FC’s innovative strategy to build relationships and connections amongst the football community in Asia by completing these coaching clinics and familiarising people in the continent with the club in the hopes to expand as a brand on top of their view to nurture more talent.

Recently, the club appointed Ferrari Australasian president Dr. Jan Hendrik Voss to the clubs board of directors where he discussed in an interview about the specific vision to expand the club’s brand internationally.

The SportsPro event was one of many that the club will involve themselves in to try and connect with the international business community, so there is good reason to expect some more international partnerships and collaborations in the near future.

Starting in Asia is a good initial plan considering the club will return to Asian football through its AFC Champions League 2 qualification.

On the pitch success at that tournament will go hand in hand with its business ventures and the club seeks to build upon its $450,000 it has earned through qualifying for the group stages.

It’s an initiative that shows the commitment the Sky Blues have with fostering football talent outside of the Australian border but also underscores its role as a global ambassador for the sport.

Sydney FC remain a leader in this space in Australian football, making strides in Asia with a vision to expand further and providing valuable football education to young talent through their elite coaching set up.

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