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El Clasico Matchup Spotlights Burgeoning Momentum of Spain’s La Liga and Liga F

“El Clasico”–the annual face-off between football giants Real Madrid and FC Barcelona–offers the greatest night of Spanish football each year, and 2023 was no exception. FC Barcelona hosted the men’s match at Camp Nou on March 19th, while the women’s teams took to the field on March 25th at Barcelona’s Estadi Johan Cryuff.

Spotify–which became the club’s Main Partner in a blockbuster deal inked in July 2022, worth a reported $300M–tweaked the clubs’ primary jersey patch in honor of the occasion. The music streaming giant replaced its name and logo with “Motomami,” the latest album from Spanish superstar Rosalia, a top Barcelona FC fan but and a city icon. Spotify also created a commercial and social media content to launch the special-edition jersey, which fans could buy online and at official club stores.

This season, the first division of Spanish women’s football–formerly known as Primer Iberdola– was reborn as Liga F, one of Europe’s top six leagues. Soon after its rebranding, Liga F inked its  first major broadcasting deal with DAZN, in another nod to women’s football leagues’ burgeoning momentum. The network also holds the broadcast rights to the UEFA Women’s Champions League, Women’s Super League (WSL), and the international rights for the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

Besides the broadcasting deal, Liga F partners with brands including Puma–the sponsor and the supplier of the league’s official match ball–and Finetwork. Liga F also signed a major deal on December 22nd with iconic Italian collectibles brand Panini to release a Liga F sticker album–its first for a national women’s football league.

Cultivating a strong relationship with fans and promoting women’s teams has allowed football clubs to sign new sponsors, including food products brand Bimbo–exclusive sponsor of the FC Barcelona sleeve–and Herbalife, the primary jersey patch sponsor of Atletico Madrid. Meanwhile, the Real Sociedad women’s team has three different kit sponsors (Diario Vasco, Euskaltel, Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia) than the Basque football club’s men’s team. 

On the men’s front, premier Spanish football league La Liga is home to both Real Madrid and Barcelona FC, two of the biggest brands in sports. The star-studded league boasts over 115 brand deals, including 50 sponsorships–15% of which are gaming (betting & daily fantasy) brands. South African platform Hollywoodbets, Mexican casino Strendus, East African firm M-Bet, Indian fantasy sports platform Dream11, and Colombian online casino Rushbet.io are a few of its betting partners. La Liga was the first of the top 5 world football leagues to sign a major NFT partnership with Socios.com, while its deal with fantasy sport video game Sorare, inked in 2021, would soon be replicated across Europe within the football community. 

La Liga partners with several alcohol brands in prominent deals–including North American partner Camarena Tequila, exclusive official wine partner Marques del Atrio, and global sponsor Mahou San Miguel, Spain’s top brewery. The league also has more than a dozen licensing deals with Burger King, Panini, Dapper Labs, and Minecraft, to name just a few.

Not surprisingly, La Liga enjoys a prolific social media presence, having engaged more than 5.2M people across 1800 sponsored social posts with 46 brands in the last year–including over 1.6M users across 376 posts through its deal with Socios.com. Last August, La Liga signed a headline-making deal with EA Sports FC that made the video game titan Title Sponsor of all La Liga competitions starting with the 2023-2024 season–replacing Spanish bank Santander, the league’s top sponsor since 2016. EA Sports and La Liga engaged over 1.7M social users with 402 posts in the last 12 months. 

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