The return of LaLiga was a moment to savour not only in Spain, but in cities across the world. For the millions of fans who follow the competition, there were multiple ways to get involved and show support for their favourite teams, thanks to a global series of events and experiences designed by LaLiga and supported by its partners.
Because resuming the competition brings considerable positive impact to the sports industry and wider economy, LaLiga created the campaign #BackToWin which has been used as the umbrella term for these initiatives.
This message has been amplified through 160 global activations, from social media events to large-scale public projections, maximising visibility for the competition in over 50 countries. These have been supported by domestic and international sportspeople as well as partners such as Banco Santander, PUMA, EA Sports, Budweiser, Rexona, BKT, LiveScore, El Corte Ingles, Samsung, Panini, Deliveroo, Allianz, STIHL, Mazda, Danone, Marques del Atrio, VITALDENT, Mail Boxes and RENFE.
“Fans around the world are excited for LaLiga to return and this is thanks to the collaborations with our national and international partners who have supported each of our initiatives fully,” said Oscar Mayo, LaLiga's director of business, marketing and international development. “All of the campaigns that we have organised together have kept supporters entertained and have helped to ensure this return was felt globally.”
United Streets of LaLiga, an urban art campaign across five continents
In the days building up to the June 11 restart, LaLiga launched the global United Streets of LaLiga campaign. The initiative involved urban artists designing murals inspired by football and which reflect the passion and emotions felt by LaLiga fans all over the planet.
The artworks can be seen in 12 cities across five continents: Mexico City (Mexico), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Bogota (Colombia), Hong Kong (China), Bali (Indonesia), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), London (United Kingdom), Paris (France), Copenhagen (Denmark), Lagos (Nigeria), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Kabul (Afghanistan).
Digital actions for fans and media
With public events unable to take place across most of the world, many initiatives have been led through digital channels, with all content offering visibility to partners.
For example, 50 virtual meetings were organised to give privileged access to media and fans. These included press toolkit events through which journalists were reminded of the state of play in the competition by LaLiga Global Network delegates, LaLiga Ambassadors and partners.
Other virtual events were designed for fans to experience the return of the competition in unique ways, including virtual live commentaries and Zoom watch parties in Costa Rica, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Phillippines and South Africa.
There were also online LaLiga panel shows in Australia, Thailand and Indonesia, discussing the competition with local journalists, commentators or fans, while a Facebook Q&A was held in Belgium. In addition, ‘Together Again’ events were planned in Cameroon and Colombia.
A further 35 social media campaigns with top influencers have been created, while a range of digital campaigns have also been launched with international media featuring LaLiga partners, including competitions, ‘Footy Talks’ events and chats with former players. Other content including score predictions and prize draws has also been placed with broadcast partners around the world.
A high-flying return in Spain
The streets of Spain were uniquely decorated to celebrate the return of the competition. On 10 and 11 June, a series of projections using video mapping appeared on two of Madrid’s most iconic attractions, the Puerta del Sol and the City Hall, as well as the Golden Tower in Seville, San Mames and the tourist office in Bilbao, and L'Hemisfèric in the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia. The images shown were those of LaLiga fans, who had been invited to share their support for LaLiga teams via a global campaign promoted by the league and its partners.
Elsewhere, LaLiga kits took on particular significance through ‘high-rise exhibitions’ appearing in three of the country’s busiest pedestrian areas: Madrid's Calle Preciados, Seville's Calle Tetuan and Bilbao's Puente del Arenal.
“The return of LaLiga is a moment that so many have waited a long time for and we wanted to celebrate it in style,” Mayo added.
Applause to Infinity for heroes of the pandemic by LaLiga and its fans
To make the presence of fans felt inside the stadiums while behind-closed-doors measures are in place, LaLiga partners have taken part the Applause to Infinity initiative which asks fans to submit a video of themselves applauding as if they were in the ground. As well as providing the call to action through social networks, staff members of LaLiga partners have also contributed their own videos.
The submissions have been compiled into a single track that is played during minute 20 of every LaLiga match, acknowledging the work of health services in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and the sacrifices that have been made.
LaLiga’s global partner PUMA lent its own voice to the #BackToWin initiative by helping to create #LaLigaBouncesBack, a campaign that featured a total of 32 global sporting stars, brought together by their love of LaLiga. The campaign video shows the players passing the official PUMA LaLiga ball to one another virtually, crossing nine different countries in total. Some of the participating LaLiga Santander players include Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Jan Oblak, Santi Cazorla, Suso and Marc Bartra.
LaLiga and its partners' activity during lockdown
Even during the most difficult period of the lockdown in Spain, LaLiga and its partners were working to promote the competition and boost morale among its global audiences. A range of digital initiatives were created to entertain followers and support the ‘Stay At Home’ message that was in place at the time. Activities included eSports tournaments (#LaLigaSantanderChallenge and Kick COVID FIFA20) and the online fundraising concert LaLigaSantander Fest.
With support given by its partners around the world, these initiatives accumulated millions of viewers while also raising funds for health services fighting the pandemic.
“LaLiga is a truly global competition and this scale is reflected in the number of activities we have seen,” Mayo concluded. “There has been a collective worldwide effort to support fans and a love of football shown by all of our partners. We celebrate the return of LaLiga but we must share this with everyone who made it possible.”