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FRI 16 APR | GLOBAL GROWTH
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How LaLiga combines physical and digital to support the growth of ElClásico
  • The most-watched club football match in the world returned to screens last weekend supported by global on- and offline experiences.
  • Installations of ElClásico lounges arrived in the desert and under the sea, while flags were raised on mountaintops and from hot air balloons.

ElClásico is one of the longest-running and heated rivalries in world football but its ongoing popularity does not come from its past. To maintain the success of its showpiece event, LaLiga commits its range of broadcast technology and global marketing potential to turn the match into a truly global spectacle.

For this month's fixture, despite the challenges presented by ongoing health restrictions, LaLiga was able to organise a plethora of international actions to bring the ElClásico experience to football fans across the world.

From the mountains to the deserts

Underlining its message that ElClásico reaches every corner of the world, LaLiga assembled ‘lounges’ complete with television, sofa and decorations of Real Madrid and Barcelona is some of the most remote locations on the planet.

These included Mount Bromo, east of the island of Java, Indonesia, the Boma village of a Maasai tribe in Kenya, the historic city of One Thousand and One Nights in Samarkand in Uzbekistan and lake Eibsee in Germany.

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Further to this, 15 ElClásico flags were installed in unpredictable locations across land, air and sea to surprise football fans in five continents. The flags could be found in Egypt, Angola, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Brazil, Bolivia, Turkey, Malaysia, Ecuador, Japan, Thailand, Denmark, the United States and Canada.

The digital and broadcasting experience

To support these physical activations, LaLiga committed its 22 international social media channels to create exclusive content during the week running up to the game and relay key match information during the two hours before kick-off, to an audience of more than 130 million global followers.

For the first time this year, ElClásico was also part of LaLiga Casters, a new initiative with Twitch allowing fans to follow the match via the global streaming service. The pre-game warmup of the match was broadcast on the official Twitch profile of the streamer Ibai Llanos, with Ibai also providing commentary on the match and linking up with LaLiga legends Iker Casillas and Fernando Morientes. This initiative alone achieved more than 1.8 million views on Twitch.

Meanwhile on its TikTok platform, LaLiga launched a filter-challenge to encourage users to broadcast their personal ElClásico. The challenge saw users recording themselves with ElClásico anecdotes, traditions and content using the hashtag #EsElClásico. Just on this platform, LaLiga saw its follower count increase by 27,000 following the activation.

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Inside the stadium

The other unique aspects of this year’s match concerned the stadium itself. While works continue at its Estadio Santiago Bernabeu home, the match took place at Real Madrid’s Alfredo Di Stefano stadium for the first time. Although the Spanish government's health restrictions did not allow for supporters to fill the ground, LaLiga ensured that fans in Spain and the world over could still immerse themselves in the match. Its broad and varied broadcast offering allowed the game to be followed from all angles, including from the players' perspective.

Regardless of their location, fans of ElClásico experienced new graphics and statistics during the match, driven by artificial intelligence and augmented reality; as well as broadcast shots such as those from the league's Fan Cam and cinematic pitchside camera, along with spectactular aerial shots from drones.

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