LaLiga and SportBoost have teamed up to take the sports industry forward, by creating opportunities for athletes and ex-athletes as well as for technology startups dedicated to finding solutions to the challenges facing the sector. This partnership will unite and benefit both, providing employment opportunities beyond competitive sport for the athletes and generating greater visibility, exposure and funding for the technology companies.
The presentation of the project was attended by Javier Tebas and Iker Casillas. The President of LaLiga declared that "teaming up with Iker [Casillas] and SportBoost means continuing our commitment to technology and innovation in LaLiga. One of our goals is to boost the sports industry in general, not just that of football, and with this kind of partnership we are making sure that this is the case.”
Furthermore, Iker Casillas, founder of SportBoost, stated that, "this is a very important agreement for SportBoost because with this partnership we are able to provide athletes with the possibility of finding opportunities after retirement, a moment that can cause anxiety. In addition, startups can reach out to these athletes and benefit from everything they have to offer.”
Also present at the launch was José Manuel Calderón, sporting advisor to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Spanish basketball star, in addition to his successful sporting career, has also worked on a project with the American National Basketball Players Association. According to Calderón: "Promoting this type of project is essential for current and former sportsmen and women. We can open up a range of possibilities that will allow them to continue developing their careers within the world of sport, by contributing to the industry in a different manner to the one they have had until now.”
The perfect match
The key to this project lies in the Player Entrepreneur Office (P.E.O.), a body that will manage and promote this relationship between athletes and ex-athletes, and startups, with the former being able to support the companies in five different ways: Mentoring, Sponsorship, Entrepreneurship, Employment opportunities and Investment.
The P.E.O. programme, initially planned for the next 4 years, will analyse innovative projects from national and international start-ups. Entities such as the ADESP (Spanish Sports Association), the AFE (The Spanish Footballers' Association) and the CSD (High Council for Sports) through its PROAD (care to sportspeople) programme will be involved in the selection process. Once selected, they will be able to invest, mentor and receive training, through the P.E.O. It will also be able to offer the athlete's services to startups that are searching for a professional who fits their profile to develop their working life beyond competitive sport.
The project will be announced to LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank players through the Players App, the application that directly connects the LaLiga Player's Office with the players themselves.
LaLiga's objective, through its technology entity LaLiga Tech, is to offer specialised sports technologies within its unique ecosystem to a worldwide customer base. To support this, it has partnered with SportBoost to help startups increase their global visibility, making it easier for them to perform at the highest level, within clubs and LaLiga.