According to Javier Tebas, president of Spain’s premier football tournament La Liga, the league is more than just a football competition, and is now a global entertainment company, akin to a Disney or Warner Bros.
Speaking at the Sportel Media and Marketing Convention in Monaco, Tebas told delegates that the league had been working on creating a structure like Disney or Warner Bros. “We want to convey to our fans that La Liga is a lot more than just great football matches. We are producing entertainment.”
According to Tebas, the high production value of La Liga live matches makes this possible, who advised that effort had gone in to improving the strength of the brand. “Our games are like a good movie plot. But we also needed better décor, so we have been investing in aerial cameras and steadicams. We have also extended the entertainment beyond the game itself, with more interviews and more content during the week.”
Tebas noted that digital is playing a big part in this strategy, advising that La Liga had brought in people from outside the world of football who understand platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Netflix. “They know how to convey messages through digital and get people interested in our content.”
La Liga’s business plan aims to see all teams within La Liga secure resources to grow – not just the famous global clubs. “We want to give teams the income they need to grow and create new stars. That is how we will compete with other global brands like the English Premier League and Formula One.”
Tebas noted that La Liga was investing considerably to combat piracy. “Piracy is impossible to avoid. They just steal the product. We’re investing huge amounts in technology, legal actions and lobbying,” he advised. “It’s obscene the sums that are being earned by the pirates.”
Technological co-operation meant that it was possible to see who was pirating the broadcasts. “We can delete these. We have global co-operation in our efforts. Social networks are working with us. Google is co-operating. Three years ago, we would not have known the answer to the problem. We absolutely have to eliminate piracy and stop people taking our content away for free.”