For LaLiga, India has been a country of many “firsts”
LaLiga, one of the most followed European football leagues in the world, celebrated its fifth anniversary since establishing a local presence in India. In conversation with Adgully, Jose Antonio Cachaza, Managing Director, LaLiga India speaks about the journey of five years, expansion plans in India and much more.
How has the journey of LaLiga been in the past five years?
It’s been an intense journey through which LaLiga has strengthened the relationship with the fans in India, many of whom were already there before we came to the country and then after establishing the office here, we developed strong ties with new partners and fans here. India has been, for LaLiga, a country of many “firsts”; in India we were the first league in the world having all our matches broadcasted exclusively and for free through social media, with Facebook; now we must be the first in having our matches in a youth content channel such as MTV. India is also the country where LaLiga has a very large social media following, with almost 6.5 million. But five years is nothing, our Indian adventure is just starting.
What are the brands that you plan to tie up with in India?
We are happy with the brands who are our partners now. Starting, as said, with Viacom18 and the platforms where our matches can be seen, MTV and Voot Select. We are also proud of the relationship we keep with our Indian LaLiga global partner, BKT Tyres, and with our two regional partners, HeroVired and Dream11; the later also keeps quite successful the official LaLiga Fantasy League in India. And I cannot forget the three agencies we are working with in the market, India On Track, MSL and RISE Worldwide.
What are your plans to expand further in India?
We have to keep growing in the heart of our fans and bring new ones. So for this, we’ll keep betting on our digital strategy, organizing live events (when the situation permits) and much more to interact further with the fans. In the mid-term, we want to bring another LaLiga team to play in India, as we did with Girona FC in Kochi in 2018.
What were your learnings from 2021?
It was clearly a transition year, when started to awake from the covid nightmare. Fans were back to the stands, in September stadia full attendance was allowed again. So, 2021 is when we started to come back to real normal. In India, the highlight is our broadcast agreement with Viacom18, the right partner for LaLiga to keep growing as a top sports product in the country.
What are the trends you see setting in 2022?
We are witnessing big changes in the industry, the most relevant is the transition of top sports from being a television product to become a television plus digital one; the digital channel is growing fast associated to a change in the way sports contents are consumed. In the next couple years, we’ll most likely witness the consolidation of OTTs as top channels for the fans. We cannot forget the growing weight of new digital business (NFTs, cryptocurrencies, fan tokens,…) as sports sponsors.