New Delhi, Feb 2: La Liga, Spain's top division football league, celebrates its third anniversary in India, since launching its second office in Asia in New Delhi.
La Liga came to India when the sport was still in its nascent phase in India and the past three years have proven to be revolutionary for the Spanish league, as the audience base has grown, accessibility to the sport has increased and La Liga is closer than ever to its Indian fans.
The three-year anniversary in India was celebrated in the presence of Jose Antonio Cachaza, Managing Director, La Liga India, Gary Udhwani, LaLiga Delegate and Aakriti Vohra, Head - Brand Properties, LaLiga India at Instituto Cervantes in New Delhi.
The past three years have been filled with several milestone moments and tremendous success of initiatives undertaken. With La Liga's pioneering objective to be as close to its fans as possible, it was at the forefront to create encompassing experiences for audiences and build a community of passionate like-minded fans.
To bring alive the true 'LaLiga' experience, the office was launched in India with the Spanish Davis Cup team, including global tennis icon Rafael Nadal, the first ever LaLiga club, Girona FC came to India in July 2018, a unique India Immersion was organized for LaLiga clubs and several massively successful public fan viewings have been organized in various cities.
Utmost importance has been given to making a meaningful impact on the football environment of the country and for this La Liga's flagship program, LaLiga Football Schools was launched in October 2018 across cities in India, a partnership with Vicente Ferrer Foundation was initiated to promote women's football in rural India in Anantapur and more.
At the heart of all the activations and engagements, is the core offering of LaLiga, football, which through a revolutionary broadcast agreement with Facebook is now provided to fans in the subcontinent free of cost. Recognizing the passion Indians have for cricket, and for football, Rohit Sharma became the first ever Brand Ambassador of LaLiga in India as he embodies it perfectly.
The excitement grew manifold as several footballing legends and LaLiga Ambassadors like Gianluca Zambrotta, Steve McManaman, Aitor Ocio, Luis Garcia, Frederik Kanoute, Diego Forlan and Gaizka Mendieta met the passionate Indian fans.
Football's growth trajectory in India has been astounding and the sport has grown leaps and bounds in the past few years. LaLiga opened its office in India with the aim of getting closer to Indian fans and having a finger at the pulse of this high potential market. The results of the work have surpassed expectations as LaLiga's digital fan base has expanded from 300,000 in 2016 to over 4MN in 2020 (the most in any country) and 1MN+ followers on Instagram.
More than 50,000 fans have attended the public fan viewings, over 10,000 youngsters been engaged with through LaLiga Football Schools, the viewership has increased significantly and newer markets and demographics have been engaged with. The new year and decade hold extraordinary promise for the sport, the fans and LaLiga in India.
Javier Tebas, President, La Liga said, "We have completed three years in India, three years that have passed very quickly, accomplishing our sport and commercial objectives. We are very delighted and will continue working hard for the future and hope we can count with everyone in our future projects. To all our fans in India, who follow us through Facebook and other platforms, keep following us because we will continue offering passion in our sport."
Jose Antonio Cachaza, Managing Director, LaLiga India said, "India has been a priority market for us since several years, but being here and engaging directly with fans and stakeholders regularly has reinforced the potential and the astounding zeal this country possesses. At our third anniversary, we look back with pride and joy at everything we have done for our fans and how much love they have shown to us. Being in such a dynamic market, it has been critical to constantly evolve, adapt and come forward with innovative and clutter-breaking ideas for our existing and potential fans and with the new decade upon us, we look forward to doing exactly that."
Of the LaLiga Ambassadors who have visited India commenting on the anniversary, Luis Garcia, said, "I would like to congratulate LaLiga office in Delhi on its 3rd Anniversary. I remember being part of El Clasico back in 2016 were 15,000 fans enjoyed the atmosphere. I enjoyed being here and look forward to seeing Indian fans again soon."
"I have been lucky to visit India several times. As the LaLiga Ambassador, my first experience was the fan viewing for Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid and it was a privilege to be there and share our love for LaLiga and football with many Indian fans," said Gaizka Mendieta who is another LaLiga Ambassador with fond memories in the country over the past three years. "One of my best experiences was sharing our love for football with kids from the Oscar Foundation. It was unbelievable to see the kids' smile and happiness when they started playing football."
Source: Press Release