The new LaLiga Santander season has begun with a bang, not only due to the on-the-pitch action but a host of initiatives set up by the league for fans around the world.
In the past week, football fans have been able to visit local events involving giant LaLiga balls in cities across four continents. Meanwhile, more than 3 million people have used newly-created LaLiga filters on Instagram and over 25 million have accessed its challenges on TikTok.
From the pyramids to Puerta del Sol
Thailand, South Africa, Mexico, Cameroon, Germany, and Egypt were selected to host these large replicas of the official Puma ball for the 2020/21 LaLiga season.
The 3.5-metre diameter balls were displayed at standout locations in each country, including the world-renowned pyramids of Giza, giving a unique photo opportunity for fans.
In Spain, the spherical bollards of central Madrid were also transformed into replica PUMA balls, which this year are available in white (‘Accelerate’) and yellow (‘Adrenalina’) varieties. The balls also decorated the entrances to the Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol and Plaza de Callao.
“The PUMA ball is a central part of our competition and it has been rewarding to see the excitement these events have created among our global fanbase,” said Óscar Mayo, director of business, marketing and international development at LaLiga. “LaLiga belongs to all its fans, wherever they are in the world.”
Millions of online fans engage with new filters
At the same time as these giant footballs were appearing around the world, the return of the competition was also being celebrated on social media with the hashtag #ViveLaLiga. LaLiga created a range of new challenges on its Instagram and TikTok platforms to entertain fans, build excitement and strengthen the global reach of the competition.
On LaLiga’s Instagram account, users had the chance to feel part of LaLiga Santander through two different games. One involved users trying to score goals against each other, moving the ball by blinking, while the other required players to move their head and blink to move the ball through a series of obstacles into a virtual goal. More than 3 million people used the filters during its opening week.
Over on TikTok, LaLiga fans were challenged to imitate LaLiga Santander players’ famous goal celebrations, recording their own video alongside a memorable moment from LaLiga history.
In addition, those that were able to navigate through a maze were rewarded an exclusive filter that allowed them lift the LaLiga Santander trophy. Over 25 million users have already taken part in these LaLiga challenges.
To increase the reach of these online campaigns, numerous celebrities joined the challenges to promote the start of the LaLiga 2020/21 season. Personalities including actress and businesswoman Eva Longoria, singer Anastasia, Russian actor Sergey Druzhko, Guatemala TV presenter Gaby Asturias, Brazilian singer Felipe Araujo, and Nigerian singer Peter Okoye all contributed memorable images and videos to their Instagram and TikTok accounts.
In addition, Longoria joined LaLiga for an online press conference to international media, explaining the importance of sporting competitions for the global entertainment industry and the importance of LaLiga returning for its 90th season.
“Despite external challenges we have continued to create new physical and virtual experiences that show the real entertainment value of LaLiga,” Mayo concluded. “As a result of these actions, our global fanbase keeps growing.”