LaLiga Tech teeth to sport-entertainment



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Maite Venture at Coliseum MENA Image: Maite Venture, LaLiga, & unsplash.com

LaLiga’s (Spain) Global Network is one of the league’s major success stories of the past few years, with 11 international offices having been set up and with delegates placed across the globe to work on promoting Spanish football in each territory.

Maite Ventura has been a major driver of the Global Network program’s success and is currently the Managing Director for MENA, working across the Middle East and North Africa.

Earlier, working as a journalist in Spain, Ventura joined LaLiga as part of LaLiga Global Network project which had the objective of accelerating the international expansion by hiring 44 young professionals to work as delegates in different destinations worldwide. She joined the Dubai office in 2017.
 

LaLiga

LaLiga is the men’s top professional football division of the Spanish football league system.
 

LaLiga Tech

LaLiga Tech offers a unique range of services to digitally transform sport and entertainment under a single data-based ecosystem.

Whether one needs to engage fans, enhance content or manage one’s competition, LaLiga Tech products are specifically created for the sector and have been perfected over years of use, while being modular and scalable to fit with one’s environment.

Maite Ventura, Managing Director MENA, LaLiga, Dubai, UAE, tells ‘Coliseum’ in an exclusive tech talk how LaLiga Tech was formed and how it is adding more teeth to the sport and entertainment industry. She also explained why LaLiga created an independent technology company.

She pointed out how LaLiga Tech is the natural result of LaLiga’s data-oriented and technological maturation process that provides the opportunity to help other organizations accelerate their own digital and technological transformation process.
 

LaLiga Tech conceptualization

Maite Ventura further pointed out that not only LaLiga is one of the most powerful leagues in the world but over the last few years it has become a global entertainment brand worldwide – “We have 700 employees globally and our viewership stands at 2.8 billion.”

She asserted, “Basically, over the last few years, the focus of LaLiga has been very strong in terms of data and digital. Several departments were created in LaLiga such as Business Intelligence, many digital product delivery departments and we boast even a lot of profiles related to Mathematicians, Industrial Engineers working in these departments because the LaLiga President, Javier Tebas, has always stressed on how important it is to go digital and equally important is data. This mindset of his led to the formation of LaLiga Tech.”

She informed that when Tebas took over the reins of LaLiga in 2013, LaLiga clubs were neck-deep in debt and the immediate need was to well-oil the financial machinery. He started off on this by decentralizing the audiovisual rights – “Once LaLiga clubs came out of the debt trap, he decided to transform LaLiga into a technology and data-oriented organization. So, finally, in 2021, LaLiga Tech was created as a product and service-oriented company.”

LaLiga Tech was created as an independent entity, independent of LaLiga and right now it’s a technology company that works by providing technology services and products to all the sports organizations like federations, local leagues, Ministry of Sports as well as entertainment platforms, broadcasters, content platforms, etc. Basically, it was made for the different technical departments of LaLiga and right now has more than 150 employees.
 

LaLiga Tech objective

  • Boost the importance of LaLiga entertainment and sport brands and help them to accelerate their digital growth;
  • Empower the sports and entertainment industry with a technological solution that allow LaLiga customers to address all the different opportunities in three different sectors – fan engagement, competition management and content management;

 

Why LaLiga Tech?

  • It supports the idea that one of the main pillars of LaLiga’s growth has been technology and data;
  • It highlights all the different technologies – the quality and the quantity of all the different technologies, all the product and services that LaLiga has developed in-house to solve many problems related to the sport and entertainment industry; and
  • A single connected ecosystem – fan, competition and content.

 

Pay-off

Today, LaLiga Tech competes with the cream of the crop technology companies

 

LaLiga Tech solutions

  • When it comes to fan engagement, LaLiga Tech can provide solutions in terms of delivering an over the top (OTT) platform to establish different fan activation strategies, smart venue solutions and development of different aps, different products, gamification experiences for the fans, and so on;
  • The World Padel Tour is the first customer of LaLiga Tech – “The World Padel Tour basically became one of the first customers for LaLiga because they were very interested in creating a whole fan ecosystem. Now, they are creating an OTT platform, they are working on different strategies for fan activation, creating all the experience, and they are trying to extend the digital connection with their Padel fans.”;
  • Content engagement – “We have been working very strongly in terms of content protection. The fight against piracy holds topmost priority for the LaLiga President as well. Today, we boast several clients who are using our products and we also have a program in place to fight against match fixing – which at one point of time used to be a huge menace in Spain.”;
  • Media Coach – A special program which provides more in-depth data and more match analysis. This augurs not only well for clubs and federations to have more information on their players but also for broadcasters to add more meaningful content into their broadcast; and
  • Competition management – “LaLiga understands that business intelligence is key to have as much information as possible and we have a lot of different competition management tools such as calendar selector, kit selector or team manager.”

 
The World Padel Tour is the number one professional padel circuit worldwide. It gathers the best players from all around the world and has its central headquarters in Spain, where 12 of the 16 tournaments in the calendar are developed. This young sport has lived to see a great professional outburst in the last 10 years.
 

Smart venues’ solutions

 

Smart ticketing

  • Maximize earnings with dynamic pricing deal; and
  • Reach your fans through multichannel, multidevice availability.

 

Venue Manager

  • Dynamic planning for multipurpose venues; and
  • Leverage cross-business opportunities with dynamic capacity planner.

 

Access control

  • Remote action on turnstiles;
  • Deliver seamless experiences with contactless accesses;
  • Real-time status and warning information; and
  • Establish COVID-19 safety entrance digital protocols.

 

Sales

  • Ecommerce integration to enable cross-selling/upselling opportunities;
    • Seat/Packs;
    • Ecommerce;
    • Shop/Bar; and
    • Services/Tour, etc.

 

Fans

  • Fan profiling to optimize capacity segments and attendee behavior insights; and
  • Gamify the experience through loyalty rewards programs.

 
The above is a summary of different solutions that LaLiga can offer for institutions that have a venue or that have a facility that they want to arm with tech bells and whistles -“We are stressing on smart ticketing or how we can create a strategy on dynamic pricing to increase revenue or we can reach our fans through a wide range of different channels. A smart venue means a facility which has multipurpose uses. To such facilities, LaLiga Tech can provide any kind of solution related to access control which will be contactless, we can provide digital information on COVID-19 protocols laid down by stadia. In terms of sale, we can facilitate ecommerce integration so that we can enable upselling or cross-selling. If a fan is buying tickets for a Real Madrid game, he or she should be provided the option to buy the Real Madrid T-shirt or to buy tickets for the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium Tour.”

Dividing fans into different groups as well as offering them different loyalty rewards programs.
 

A connected venue experience

Stated Ventura, “At the end, it’s all about creating a whole digital ecosystem in which LaLiga Tech can deliver the best digital immersive experience to fans. Of course, through business intelligence and marketing capabilities that we have in LaLiga Tech. In terms of the hospitality and the audio visual areas, we can make them more attractive and at the end more profitable as well not only during the event but also pre- and post-event. So, we work on all the different aspects of facility management because at the end we understand that the sole objective is to keep the fans inside the stadium precincts totally entertained so that they spend long hours inside a venue.”
 

One-stop shop

She added, “We work with all LaLiga clubs and provide them solutions through one app for venue management. It is imperative that facilities be managed through one system – So, no matter if you are hosting a LaLiga match or you are hosting a Champions League semifinal or a concert or an esports tournament, you have just one centralized system, a kind of one-stop shop which results in higher efficiency.”
 

Intelligent segmentation

Something that LaLiga Tech find really relevant in terms of venue management is segmentation by use – “Be it families, VIP guests or just visitors. It’s important to have them all segmented, centralized and organized in one app so that we can offer them specific discounts according to how they consume our product, how they buy tickets, etc. And it allows us to connect with the other ticketing platforms.”

She summed up by stating that the anti-piracy system that LaLiga Tech developed six years back, “We were offering it free to other federations or other leagues that were hell-bent on solving the piracy problem in their respective countries. So, we knew the importance of it to gather all the different products and services – anti-piracy – to put it together after it was very successful with other federations or with our own clubs to offer them to the whole industry.”

Curiosity is Maite Ventura’s drive. She is a person who never stops learning, both about her industry and about whatever happens to pique her interest. She is a woman who pushes the tech limits and it is for the contribution of people like Ventura that LaLiga Tech has succeeded in helping not only its clubs but also other federations and leagues achieve their dreams – be it doing away with piracy or any other tech solutions.

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