The Canary Islands derby has reached a historic milestone. The match between UD Las Palmas and CD Tenerife was received with great enthusiasm by football fans in London, who were for the first time able to enjoy an international watch party for a LaLiga SmartBank match.
The two clubs, in a coordinated action with LaLiga UK, brought the excitement of this very special match to their fans in London. The Pub Sports Bar & Grill Canary Wharf, located in an area that owes its name to the landing of Canary Islands fruit and vegetable imports since the 19th century, was the chosen venue to bring together the more than 80 attendees.
"Events like this help to reinforce LaLiga's position as the most prestigious foreign competition in the UK and to strengthen ties with partners such as Mahou San Miguel and Stonegate Group, the largest pub chain in the market," said Keegan Pierce, LaLiga Global Network's delegate for the UK and Ireland.
"All LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank clubs have a fan base in the UK and Ireland, especially within such a cosmopolitan city as London," added Pierce. "It is not only an international capital of the sports industry, but also a place where thousands of LaLiga fans from many nationalities and all regions of Spain live.”
This is the tenth successful watch party to be held in the UK since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organised in partnership with Stonegate Group, the UK's largest pub and bar chain, with whom LaLiga UK has been a partner since 2020, the venue was chosen based on its size, multi-screen format and the Canary Wharf area's historic commercial links with the Canary Islands, from which it takes its name.
The clubs collaborated fully in the organisation of the event and helped on a promotional level with merchandising and other forms of branding. In addition, UD Las Palmas, which has recently developed a particular interest in the UK market, sent three employees to the event, including former player and club ambassador Francisco 'Paquito' Ortiz.
"The event was very well received by the Canarian public in London and British audiences in general. We more than met the expectations of the event," said Noelia Pérez, from the club’s Commercial and Marketing department. "We believe that the UK is a natural strategic international market for us due to our historical links with the English. They are also a target audience for our tourism industry, and we are helped by the great promotion of Gran Canaria as a tourist destination in the English territory and the great love of English people for football in general."
Back in November, UD Las Palmas took part in the World Travel Market (WTM), one of the major events in the international tourism market, with the aim of positioning itself in the British market and attracting visitors to Gran Canaria. On this visit to the UK, which was used to approach Norwich City FC, she said: "We are excited and convinced that the contact made with Norwich City FC will lead to a great cooperation agreement between both institutions at a brand, commercial and sporting level".
David de Diego, Marketing Director of CD Tenerife, highlighted the importance of this market for the Tenerife club: "Bearing in mind that the Canary Islands in general and Tenerife in particular are one of the main destinations for British tourists to enjoy their holidays, it is important for us to develop this type of activation at source to position the club and the brand within a strategic and very relevant market for the club.
“Furthermore, if we can use a Canary Islands derby to promote the image of Canarian teams, even better,” he continued. “We must highlight the support that LaLiga offers to the clubs for the implementation of these activations. Without their help, in most cases, it would be something out of reach for many clubs. This is yet more proof that the sum of our forces is much more powerful than individual efforts. CD Tenerife will continue to develop and promote this type of initiative to bring the club closer to our expatriate supporters."
Bringing together of the best LaLiga SmartBank matches, plus the involvement of clubs, LaLiga UK representatives, broadcaster and partners made this watch party a day to remember, and a unique opportunity for CD Tenerife and UD Las Palmas to continue developing and expanding their brand awareness in the UK.