Hard to believe, but it’s almost Labor Day and the first international break of the fall season is nearly upon us! We previously wrote about the Premier League’s start to the season on NBC and now our eyes turn south to Spain. It’s been a busy start to the 2019/20 season, especially with shifts in focus to the La Liga U.S. audience. With two of the biggest clubs in the world and a flurry of summer transfers – potentially more to come with the European window open until September 2nd – La Liga is poised to continue its expansion into the American market.
beIN Sports Renewal
Stateside fans have been able to watch La Liga action on beIN Sports since 2012 and will continue doing so through the 2023/24 season. Ahead of the current deal expiring at the end of this season, it made sense for both parties to renew now.
While fans have grown accustomed to Ray Hudson’s screams of MAGISTERIAL around Leo Messi, there will be a new voice joining beIN’s coverage this season. Former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo joins the crew as co-host of a new show “Weekend Warriors” and across multiple other beIN shows throughout the season.
ESPN recently picked up rights to Germany’s Bundesliga starting with the 2020/21 season to go with Italy’s Serie A. NBC maintains Premier League rights while Turner is entering the second year of their UEFA Champions League deal.
Little Spain opens in New York City
While beIN is the home for La Liga action in the United States, they have a physical home in New York City. And I’m not just talking about the office they’ve maintained in the Big Apple since 2016.
The league has partnered with renowned Spanish chef and restaurateur José Andrés, who opened Mercado Little Spain back in March, to be the official home of La Liga North America.
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) August 21, 2019
Every weekend the restaurant will be the home for futbol and will host special events that allow fans to experience a variety of sporting and cultural connections.
Former USMNT player Jimmy Conrad hosts new series
You may remember Jimmy Conrad from his MLS and US Soccer playing days or perhaps fondly recall his time at the YouTube channel KICKTV. He’s back as host/US ambassador of all things La Liga for the league across their social media channels.
LaLiga Zone is a weekly recap of all the action where he dives into a variety of topics including the action on the pitch, detailed club information, Spanish lessons, and a giveaway. The best part about the show? The true immersion of being in Spain. Episode 1 comes to you directly from RCD Mallorca’s stadium. The club, which was promoted back to La Liga for the first time since 2012/13 season, counts Steve Nash, Stu Holden, and Kyle Martino among it’s minority ownership.
Striking a deal with Tik Tok
Unless you work in social media or have a teenager, you may not be that familiar with Tik Tok. However, the short-form video platform is a force to be reckoned with. It boasts more than 500 million monthly active users across the globe with 41% of users between 16-24.
La Liga was one of the first brands / sports properties to jump on the platform and they have reaped the rewards. They have more than 355K fans and their content as received 3.5 million hearts.
Being an early adapter isn’t their only reason for success. They’ve partnered with Tik Tok with an in-app challenge – #HolaLaLigaSantander – to kick-off the season. A filter within the platform allowed users to participate in a challenge of “keepy ups” in an effort to boast who can do the most. Currently, there have been more than 45 million views of #HolaLaLigaSantander content across 42 different countries.
Last but not least
The absolute greatest media/influencer mailing – the Ray Buzzer.
— Shawn Francis (@TheOffsideRules) August 24, 2019