As part of expanding their brand, La Liga holds monthly virtual international conferences with media houses across the world.
FARPost was one of only two media houses in the entire African continent to be invited to the February conference as La Liga organized Athletic Bilbao president Aitor Elizegi to speak about the club’s history, culture, grassroots development initiatives and various social justice projects the club is involved in globally.
Asked about the development programmes that the club is involved in around the African continent, the president admitted that they have not been able to successfully implement such a programme, but are open to having such engagements in future and willing to share their ideals and methods across the board.
“It is true that when you manage things locally you have to do a lot of work and you have to be open-minded. We have to explore that possibility, we spoke about using digital tools that would allow us to tell our story, but I know that there are collaborations with Asia, South America and Africa through the foundation – more through social work.
“This is not related to sport or sport performance. As we’ve tried to explain during the press conference, our strength is more through carrying out that effort in our territory. Perhaps we could teach you how to do it, but we wouldn’t be able to export it.
“The social responsibility model we do believe that the model we have for protection of minors is good. The model we have on inter-born nutrition we could be able to share with you and we have our approach based on sustainable development and the 2020 agenda. We would like to share that language wherever we’re called by opening the doors at Lezama which is our school as I insisted before and I think that you will see in the short and medium term that this school is going to be open to collaborations with anybody that effort far away from Lezama.”
Through their newsletter, Marcos Pelegrin who is the managing director for La Liga in South Africa expressed his joy at seeing their growth in the country and hopes through relations with relevant stakeholders things will only get better with more South Africans following and watching the league.
“Looking at some figures, it’s amazing how fast we’ve been growing. Five years ago, many countries couldn’t even watch La Liga and now we have five regional partners and more than nine million followers on social media,” he said.
Through ensuring strong physical presence and good marketing strategies, the progress made in Southern Africa is immense and Pelegrin explained their approach which has been very effective so far.
“What makes the difference is the team we deployed in the region, which amounts to almost 20 professionals, and our local approach. To connect with the fans, we need to listen to them, speak their languages and understand how they want to consume La Liga. For example, last season on social media we posted in more than 30 local languages and executed over 100 activations in Africa,” concluded Pelegrin.
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By Prince Sobayeni