New technological innovations continue to be an important factor in how football fans consume the world game across broadcast and digital media.
This growing trend was part of the motivation behind La Liga and LiveScore signing a three-year global sponsorship deal at the beginning of the 2019 season.
While the coronavirus pandemic has caused a disruption to both organisations’ core business offerings, the partnership has continued to develop ways to engage fans and enhance their experiences.
LiveScore services over 56 million active monthly users in over 200 countries through their app and website.
The organisation wanted to work with the high-profile Spanish competition to continue to accelerate its growth and global reach.
“La Liga undoubtedly has a reputation as one of the best football leagues in the world”, Will Thomas, Head of Sponsorship at LiveScore Group, told the La Liga Newsletter.
“We want to align ourselves with leading sports institutions that share similar ambitions to us, centred around growing fanbases, speed, reliability and digital innovation. We found La Liga reflected many of these qualities.”
La Liga provides LiveScore with multiple digital assets, as well as increasing the visibility of the brand with pitch-side advertising boards, fourth official boards and social media posts.
In saying this, however, the partnership centrally revolves around LiveScore’s sponsorship of La Liga Replay360° technology.
Every time Replay360° is used in a broadcasted match, which is on average six times per game, LiveScore is showcased as the presenting partner responsible for the technological innovation.
Edited clips are also shown on La Liga and LiveScore’s social media channels, with Replay360° generating over 35 million video views and five million positive engagements for LiveScore last season.
“Early indications through our research suggest that we are beginning to get some cut-through in terms of sponsorship awareness in many of our focus markets, amongst both La Liga fans and LiveScore users”, Thomas added.
“Millions of fans watch La Liga matches and follow their social channels, where we regularly appear, so the rights have been a solid base for us to work from.”
The technology is still considered to be a relatively new innovation and one that fans continually appreciate.
“It appears as if the fans love seeing goals from this unique perspective, as engagement sentiment has been very positive,” Thomas said.
“LiveScore is in the business of providing goal updates and scores to football fans, so building on this association is both obvious and important to us.”
The arrival of the global pandemic did force some adjustments, with both parties having to think on their feet when it came to their previously arranged agreement.
“We want to enhance the LiveScore user experience through our sponsorship assets, providing better content and more unique fan experiences and rewards,” Thomas explained.
“Clearly, the pandemic has made this more difficult as it has been impossible since March to utilise things like match tickets, hospitality and ‘behind the scenes’ access. So, we have really focused on what we call ‘the controllables’ and that is broadcast and digital.”
To succeed in this space, LiveScore worked with La Liga to produce video content that was unique to the situation.
“We have collaborated with several past and present La Liga players such as Steve McManaman, Patrick Kluivert, Marc Bartra, Ivan Rakitić, Saúl Ñíguez and Samuel Chukwueze, as well as LaLiga President Javier Tebas, which is enabling us to provide regular engaging content that fans are already enjoying,” Thomas stated.
With around 25% of LiveScore users following La Liga passionately, there was keen interest in this content amongst its own userbase and also from those who follow the La Liga’s digital channels. The first ‘LiveScore Challenge’ films featuring players, as well as accompanying interviews, are already available on both organisation’s social channels with approximately 25 individual videos to be released by the end of the 2020/21 season.
As La Liga continues to enhance its own OTT streaming service, the Spanish competition is in a position to share new findings with partners such as LiveScore who are looking to develop similar offerings.
LiveScore launched a free-to-air live streaming service in June of this year.
“We’ve been delighted with the response at this early stage,” Thomas revealed.
“LiveScore app users in the UK, Ireland and Nigeria are now able to access live matches from some of the top football competitions around the world and over 70% of app users in each of those markets have watched a match so far. Furthermore, 25% of those viewers have gone on to watch more than 10 live matches – a sign that our users are enjoying the action we’re providing.”
Both companies will continue to try to stay ahead of the technological curve, with the data they have gathered through a wide userbase, vital to detect new trends.
“The provision of insight is something we work closely with rightsholders on to shine a light on the popularity of specific competitions around the globe and how LiveScore streaming its content can influence this in a positive way,” Thomas said.
For example, LiveScore can provide La Liga information on the level of interest in certain fixtures and teams in certain markets, with the ability to compare those figures to other leading leagues and clubs across the world.
“From a research and development sponsorship perspective, we are continually sharing key findings with each other on the successes and challenges of the partnership,” Thomas noted.
“From a broader business perspective, outside of the confines of the sponsorship, we are a digital global content business that is accessible to sports fans all over the world and we are always open to providing advice and support to our trusted partners.”
“We are still in the infancy of our partnership, but I am sure future innovations will come as we continue to work together,” he concluded.