Excitement is high in Egypt as the country plays host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), with the international tournament now underway in Cairo. For the thousands of football fans from across Africa who arrived Egypt for the tournament’s opening, there was an opportunity to discover Spanish football too.
The ‘LaLiga Space’ in the Cairo Festival City Mall opened on June 20th, 21st and 22nd for supporters spending time in the city as the tournament began. LaLiga’s past and present African players were celebrated through interactive experiences, while fans were able to learn about the LaLiga story as a whole and about each of the Spanish clubs represented in the competition.
This experience was supported by key local partners of LaLiga, which has been building stronger relationships with local businesses and fans across Africa for more than four years. Uber collaborated with LaLiga to offer a 50% discount on trips to the venue during the 21st and 22nd June, for fans entering the promocode LaLigaSpace. Meanwhile beIN Sports, the broadcast partner for LaLiga in the region, had a presence at the event to explain how fans can engage with LaLiga in Egypt throughout the year.
LaLiga has been present at nearly all the world’s recent major football tournaments as it continues to promote Spanish football worldwide. In Cairo, representatives from the league explained the Spanish football story to some of the most passionate and knowledgeable fanbases in all of football, many of whom have idols who currently ply their trade in Spain.
With LaLiga Santander talents like Atlético Madrid’s Thomas Partey, Villarreal’s Karl Toko Ekambi and Barcelona’s Moussa Wagué all taking part in this year’s AFCON. With former LaLiga stars such as Samuel Eto'o, Yaya Touré and Ikechukwu Uche all having won the tournament in the past, there is already a strong connection between Spanish and African football.
Visitors to the LaLiga Space had the chance to see the LaLiga Santander trophy up close, check out the kits of each of the clubs, watch videos of African legends competing in Spanish club football and to take part in activities, competitions and exhibitions. Meanwhile, a separate meeting area was established for sports organisations, brands, associations and stakeholders interested in sports and entertainment to meet with LaLiga and continue discussions about how the different institutions can work together better.
“LaLiga is keen on promoting Spanish football around the globe with the intention to build the biggest community of loyal fans in each and every country,” said Juan Fuentes, LaLiga delegate to Egypt.
“The AFCON 2019 kick off allowed us to demonstrate LaLiga’s ongoing commitment to African football and also the key role that African football already plays in our competition.”
Many fans who attended the ‘LaLiga Space’, already knew and recognised the league’s colours, partners and sponsors given that LaLiga has already had a presence in Egypt for some time as part of its efforts to boost the global game by supporting grassroots football in Africa.
Since 2015, the league has been working to create commercial opportunities and visibility across the continent, including Egypt. Orange Egypt, for example, has been an official Telecom partner of LaLiga for the past four years.
More recently, LaLiga opened academies in Cairo in September of 2018, with almost 100 children enrolled, while over 1,000 Egyptian students have been reached through cultural seminars in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain.
Reflecting on the strength of this relationship, the ESLSCA Business School’s Cairo campus was chosen as the location for the first international course when LaLiga Business School began its global expansion earlier in 2019.
With Egypt becoming the epicentre of African football over the next few weeks as the battle to crown the continent’s champions is played out inside the nation’s stadiums, LaLiga’s physical presence at the tournament will open the door to more Spanish football fans in the continent.
“The passion for football in Africa is extraordinary and LaLiga is already one of the best followed competitions here,” added Fuentes. “This event celebrates the roots that we have already put down in the region while at the same time positioning LaLiga for future growth.”© LaLiga - Año 2019