Ask any La Liga fan, even the most trenchant supporters of Spanish football, and even they will admit that the Primera is playing catch-up to the Premier League.
Not just in terms of money, where the investment model of the Premier League continues to separate English clubs from their rivals. Marketing and production of the their product are key areas in which the Premier League dwarfs La Liga, which is still fixing its infrastructure.
Increasingly it looks doubtful that La Liga can make up the ground to the Premier League in many facets of those departments, but one area where they can make strides is online.
Online culture is growing at a rapid rate, but neither business has yet streamlined themselves to take full advantage of that – not many have. Whether it be Cyberfootball, which brings with it a culture of betting at sites like https://gg.bet/en/fifa/, or Twitch streams or eGaming, that is one area that La Liga might be able to catch up to their main competitors.
Gerard Pique’s new venture in retirement, the Kings League, is evidence that it is a successful model with room for monetisation. While Pique has access to a large number of stars, the tournament is free to watch on Twitch and many of its followers involve popular streamers, attracting their own audiences to the league.
The likes of Ibai Llanos, the largest streamer in Spain and now a national celebrity has partnered with Pique to produce the league. In addition former footballers like Iker Casillas, Ronaldinho and Sergio Aguero have been part of the entertainment too, proving that although there is a tendency to make a quick buck amongst ex-footballers, the celebrities themselves are enjoying being part of it too.
The presence of the celebrities and former professionals also ensures that this league is constantly headline news in Spain. The largest sports papers in Spain also have sections online dedicated to eSports and online culture.
In addition, as younger footballers come into the game that have grown into the game, La Liga will have at their disposal a number of their own current stars to call on.
The likes of the Kings League are proof that not only is the culture and the infrastructure there for growth on these platforms, that particularly in Spain there is room to export their product on the likes of Twitch. If they can be agile and smart about their work, then La Liga President Javier Tebas can steal a march on his biggest headache.
Image via Mariscal