LaLiga changes its image. Soon we will see a new logo on the sleeve of all the players’ shirts, the most visible example of a transformation that covers many other aspects. The creation of the new identity of LaLiga has involved hundreds of people who have worked frantically over the last year under the supervision of Angel Fernandez (Cabrils, Barcelona, 1983), the promoter of this new step towards the future. “We had to change the wheels of a running car and, at the same time, keep driving,” he says. Fernandez arrived at LaLiga in November 2020 with the mandate to create a Strategy department. At the time, he had no idea that he would end up facing “the biggest challenge” of his professional career.
Although he was practically a newcomer to LaLiga, Fernandez had accumulated experience in the soccer industry. In his youth, together with some friends, he formed the first RCD Espanyol supporters club in his hometown, Cabrils, a small town of 5,000 inhabitants 20 minutes by car from Barcelona. “We toured Spain by bus supporting our club, we had a great time those years,” he recalls. After graduating in International Business from the University of Barcelona, he set up his first businesses, an online poker company and a consulting firm. In 2014 he signed for the Codere bookmaker. He started as a consultant, but became the marketing director for Europe and Latin America. There he developed advertising and sponsorship campaigns for clients such as Valencia CF and former Colombian soccer player Carlos Pibe Valderrama. Determined to “start a new stage”, he left Codere. He later called him LaLiga, and he accepted.
What interests Fernandez the most about football is its “social aspect”, which is why he made an effort from the beginning to make the support programs promoted by LaLiga more known and that “people did not know well because in football the actions of the players or the clubs eclipse almost everything”, he explains. In his head, the company is an “ecosystem” in which fans, competitions and experiences coexist. His plan was to design a different strategy for each one. Thus, better business opportunities could be generated by pursuing specific objectives.
The first of these objectives would be to be a “multitarget”, which Fernandez explains as follows: “That allows me to connect with my grandfather, who listens to football on the radio, and with my son, who is starting to collect stickers”. The second purpose of the strategy is to be “multiengagement”, or translated: “Attract those who live football as an experience”. And, thirdly, to be multicultural, “so that the stories we tell can travel and transcend in other countries.”
Thanks to this prioritization, Fernandez and his team were able to carry out transformations that are essential for LaLiga today. For example, having created a “tool that can be used by the entire organization”, he says, referring to the concept of the ecosystem. Thanks to him, LaLiga has found a partner in EA Sports, which will be the new sponsor of the league competition next season. “We had to be able to seduce brands, not with minutes of advertising, but through stories and the narrative of the projects themselves,” he says.
A year ago, Fernandez’s territory grew to become the Brand, Strategy and Research department. His task and that of the 30 people who work with him is to build the narrative of LaLiga. “Why we exist and how we transform our visual and sound identity so that it better represents what we do”, he explains.
The day-to-day work of his department consists of responding to problems that may arise. They are also required to “be proactive” to generate new business opportunities. The pace is frenetic. Especially this season, an “atypical” year, says Fernandez, due to the change of sponsor. In any case, the manager sums up that his work is “exciting, above all, due to the multiplier effect of football. It’s a great power.”
Fernandez is clear that he is facing the challenge of his career. “For the first time, my professional activity has an impact on people’s lives through football, which is part of popular culture,” he says. That is what he likes the most and what he insists on to his flatmates. “We always ask a key question: Does what we do have a positive impact on my children or not? And when you take that to the extreme, it’s exciting.”
A new strategic positioning
A few weeks ago, LALIGA presented ‘La Fuerza de Todos’, a campaign in which it discovers its new strategic positioning and reflects its ability “to generate movement from football”. This initiative, they say, “shows that together we are stronger and highlights the potential of each and every one of the people who are part of the LALIGA ecosystem” and fits in with the brand’s new direction, focused on THE STRENGTH OF OUR FOOTBALL which seeks to be “a more global, multitarget, multi-engagement and multicultural competition that inspires the world through the values of football”.
The campaign was released with the presentation of an audiovisual piece that, they say, captures the essence of football, highlighting unity and strength as the elements that give meaning to the competition, highlighting the collective emotion of this sport. See the LALIGA campaign below.
Source: EL PAIS