Promotional strategy more towards digital advertising: Jose Antonio Cachaza, LaLiga India

The presence of LaLiga matches on Facebook provides real-time interaction with fans & engagement with viewers has been good, says Cachaza, Managing Director, LaLiga India  

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Published: May 10, 2019 8:08 AM  | 5 min read
Jose Cachaza La Liga

LaLiga, the body which organises the top two divisions of Spanish club football, presented its sports report on Thursday. It showcases the growth of the Spanish Football League globally and in India. 

According to the report, the football league has grown 20.6 per cent over the previous season and holds a revenue of €4.479 billion.

Speaking about LaLiga’s advertising strategy for India, Jose Antonio Cachaza, Managing Director, LaLiga India, told exchange4media that the league does not do direct advertising for their brand. “LaLiga is not a consumer market brand, but a brand that sells emotions, a product that takes place 8,000km away from India. Actually, pure advertising is only used to promote events like El Clasico. Basically, our promotional strategy goes more towards digital advertising and PR opportunities. The outcome of this advertising is more people watching our matches through Facebook and this is how we reach out to our fans,” Cachaza said.

At the beginning of the 2018/19 season, the Spanish football league signed a landmark deal with Facebook to telecast all LaLiga matches in India. Facebook has exclusive media rights for over three years. LaLiga also sold rights to Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and OTT player SonyLIV for two years. 

Sharing more insights, Cachaza said: “We had reached an agreement as a broadcaster for the Indian subcontinent and other countries we are partnered with to sell rights to Facebook. They decided to sell a licence for just three matches per week to Sony but not in exclusive ways. The other matches could be watched on Facebook. So, the reason for the transition was because we felt it was right. With our knowledge and participation we decided to make the transition to Digital.”

Speaking about the comparison between BARC ratings and digital ratings, Cachaza said BARC is an estimation-based system in India, Spain or around the globe. “The internet figures are good, they are growing week by week and the engagement is also growing. So it’s working very well. But it is still early to say since it’s only been a year and this is a three-year project. The challenge is to have more engagement with the fans,” Cachaza said. 

He didn’t disclose the numbers in terms of the reach of Digital and whether it was more than a broadcast network. He, however, said, “We are really happy with the figures and presence of the matches on a digital platform like Facebook. It allows us to know in real time the interaction with the fans, and the engagement with our viewers has been really good. There has been huge attraction and engagement with what comes out from the studio with John Burridge as the presenter.”

On plans to outsource content to other OTT players going forward, Cachaza said, “In the European market, we are already working with an OTT platform called ‘Eleven Sports’. Being an offer supplying market, it really depends on the Indian market and the offers we have for the OTT players.”

The latest financial report was presented by Gary Udhawani Motiram, Delegate, LaLiga Global Network India. He shared insights for the recently completed season (2017/18). 

The report reveals that commercial revenue and revenue from transfers has seized the central growth of broadcasting revenues. The Audio-Visual (AV) turnover managed to surpass the €1.5bn mark for the first time and will recover its central role from the season as a result of the new AV cycle negotiated for the national market. 

According to Motiram, LaLiga’s strategy for India has been aimed at gaining more presence in the Indian market. The aim is to grow in terms of visibility through activations, events and public viewings, he said. 

LaLiga India’s PR and digital strategy has been to grow their content in the Indian market and generate more interest in the game, which in turn will lead to more followers, broadcasting contracts and sponsorships. Their digital strategy focuses on regional content and campaigns have been created for the same. 

To connect with the audience at the ground level, LaLiga India conducted a competition and winners from cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Goa and Kolkata got to watch a live telecast of the matches. They also received merchandise from the league. Speaking about the digital campaign, Motiram said, “We showcased the winners from these four regions. The winners also brought their friends over to watch the match. LaLiga provided them with a TV, beverages and merchandise for the winners and their friends. It was a unique concept and it worked well for us. We might try more such activations going forward.”

LaLiga India has also roped in former skipper Sourav Ganguly and actor Arjun Kapoor to promote the league.
The TV rights of LaLiga for the last three years, since it’s inception in India, have grown at a rate of 30 per cent and have generated 5 billion euros. 

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