Founded almost a century ago in Madrid, LaLiga, the top men’s professional football league in Spain, has been moving into the digital age and with the launch of LaLiga Tech, is offering a suite of data, analytics and software development tools to allow businesses and other sports franchises to create a variety of fan engagement, content enhancement and competition management applications. It’s a way to for LaLiga to develop a tech business that complements its core sports franchise, and also a way to fuel interest in LaLiga football in the Middle East.
Digital transformation is sports has gone through several phases. Initially, technological innovation focused on audio-visual production for broadcasts of matches. Now, technological progress emphasizes improvement of the customer experience through digital channels.
LaLiga Tech tools are designed to allow businesses to create applications for three main areas: fan engagement, with apps such as fantasy gaming; content enhancement, for example creating digital versions of in-venue experiences; and competition and business management for sports franchises.
“This ambitious project represents LaLiga’s true commitment to innovation in its international development. We are very excited to help bring this new digital offering to MENA given that the sports and entertainment sector has an enormous opportunity for growth in this region,” said Maite Ventura, LaLiga managing director for the MENA (Middle East and North Africa ) region, based in Dubai. “Our goal has always been to get closer to fans across the Middle East to show everything that Spanish football has to bring, and with the new products that LaLiga Tech has to offer, we believe we are on the right track.”
Available as cloud-based managed services, LaLiga Tech offerings can also be used create new direct-to-consumer streaming channels, enhance and protect content with real-time data and digitise business-management processes.
Data analytics tools include customised data dashboards to monitor performance of any platform on which services are being delivered to fans; custom applications that digitise key competition processes, including artificial intelligence tools for optimised match calendars; and resources for centrally managing financial processes.
Data analytics allows sports franchises to build on its emotional connection with fans by understanding fan behaviours and using designing engaging applications and entertainment experiences, said Miguel Ángel Leal, CEO of LaLiga Tech. “We work with data to understand what the fans expect of us and have a strategy aimed at them,” Leal said.
The effort to create LaLiga Tech began six years ago and involved 140 specialists.
“We asked ourselves how we could improve various areas through technology, such as customer participation, content and the management of competitions,” Leal said. “There were already several technologies for the world of sports and entertainment, but they were not mature, so what we did was create a specialized team to solve technological challenges and from this, LaLiga Tech was born, a new company with a large portfolio of solutions.”
LaLiga’s technology spinoff also allowed the league to launch several business alliances. It will be working with World Padel Tour to a series of fan-facing technology platforms, allowing the growing sport of table tennis to reach a wider global audience and for new fan experiences to be created across multiple assets.
Meanwhile, communications company Millicom will use LaLiga Tech’s content protection services and analysis team to monitor online platforms and ensure that Costa Rica’s Liga de Fútbol de Primera División (Liga FDP) content is not used illegally.