The Eternal Champion championing Green cause



Linkedin Twitter

Samuel Perez from Colo-Colo on Coliseum Image: Colo-Colo FC

The top-notch Club Social y Deportivo Colo-Colo is a Chilean professional football club based in Macul, Santiago, Chile. Founded in 1925 by David Arellano they play in the Chilean Primera División (the top-tier league of the Chilean football league system), from which they have never been relegated. The team has played its home games at the Estadio Monumental David Arellano since 1989.

The Estadio Monumental is a football stadium in Macul, South-East of the center of the Chilean capital Santiago. It serves as the home ground of Colo-Colo, and on occasions also for other clubs and the national football team. The stadium has a current spectator capacity of 47,347.

Samuel Pérez, CCO and CMO, Colo-Colo, Chile, tells ‘Coliseum’ in an exclusive how the top-flight holds a lot of clout in Chile and enjoy a huge fan following. He also reveals how they aim to become the most sustainable club in the country and leave a lasting legacy behind in this regard.
 

Soul of Chile

When one thinks of Chilean club football, the first name that comes to mind is Colo-Colo. It is a force to reckon with in Chile and enjoys a larger-than-life image as Samuel Pérez pride on, “We are one of the first clubs in Latin America to participate in a tour across Europe and also one of the first clubs to boast a women’s team – Colo-Colo Femenino.”
 

Background

Colo-Colo was founded in 1925 by David Arellano. Sadly, Arellano did not live to see the club climb to the top of the heap in Chile. Only two years after he’d founded the club, he died of inflammation caused by an on-pitch collision with an opposing player.
 

Take in stride

Colo-Colo took the demise of Arellano in a calm way and continued to assert its way to the top. In 1933, Colo-Colo and seven other clubs created the first professional Chilean football league, titled Primera División. Four years later, they cruised to their first league title without dropping a single game in the process. During the following 45 years, they won an additional nine league titles. And then there was no looking back for them.
 

Colo-Colo feats

Colo-Colo has won more Primera División de Chile (32) than any other Chilean club and a record 13 Copa Chile titles. It was the first Chilean team to win a continental tournament conquering the 1991 Copa Libertadores. Next year, the club went on to win two international titles that were 1992 Recopa Sudamericana and 1992 Copa Interamericana. They have been aptly nicknamed ‘The Eternal Champion’.

Added Pérez, “Colo-Colo symbolizes passion and bring joy to the fans. Whenever the team wins a game, people across all age groups go ecstatic. This is the kind of clout that the club enjoys.”
 

Bankruptcy no deterrent

Though the club faced bankruptcy in the year 2012, but this did not deter the club from performing on the pitch and they went on to win the Clausura (split season format) that season with a squad formed almost entirely from juvenile players.

Soon, Colo-Colo overcame their financial woes and returned to doing what they do best – winning. The team won both the Apertura and Clausura tournaments in 2006. They repeated this feat the very next season, becoming the first Chilean club to win a Tetracampeonato (four straight championships). By 2017, they claimed five additional league titles, along with two Chilean Supercups in 2017 and 2018.

The Apertura and Clausura tournaments is a split season format for Spanish-speaking sports leagues. It is a relatively recent innovation for many Latin American football leagues in which the traditional association football season from August to May is divided in two sections per season, each with its own champion.

Stated a proud Pérez, “Colo-Colo is the only team who went to play at the Easter Island (island in Chile) something which no other local team has been able to accomplish. Colo-Colo is Chile and Chile is Colo-Colo. The club has produced cream of the crop players who now play with top European leagues.”
 

Staunch supporters

‘The Eternal Champion’ have a huge fan following – the diehard ones as Pérez puts in, “We have about eight million fans. You take the number of fans and then you split it and then you divide it by the total population of the country and it gives you a total of 42 percent of the population who swear by Colo-Colo.”
 

Top of the soccer ladder

Colo-Colo is the most successful team in the country and the only team to have won the CONMEBOL Libertadores in its three versions by both the men and women’s teams.

The CONMEBOL Libertadores, also known as the Copa Libertadores de América, is an annual international club football competition organized by the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) since 1960. It is the highest level of competition in South American club football.
 

Sponsorship challenges

The club did spend sleepless nights during COVID-19 as few of their sponsorship deals were coming to an end. Pérez informed that the club entered into fresh sponsorship deals and the one that stood out was the six-year agreement with the German multinational corporation Adidas who is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe.

He stated, “We hit the bull’s eye with our Adidas deal. The sports apparel sold like hot cakes for eight weeks.”

  • 40k net Q sales (300k estimated full year) in the first two months; and
  • Eight weeks top 1 LATAM bestseller.

 

Green guardians

 

1925-2025

Colo-Colo which was founded on April 19th, 1925, will complete its centenary year in 1925 and the club has set its priorities right – its centenary goal is to become the most sustainable club in Chile.

To this end, the club has initiated the following steps:

  • Energy efficiency – switching to LED technology in their home ground;
  • Solar panels to improve energy consumption and the top-flight will soon boast a parking lot with solar panels which will help reduce carbon footprints;
  • Water efficiency – reducing water wastage. Chile is experiencing severe drought in the last few years and there is acute water shortage in the Colo-Colo’s home ground too. To address the water shortage problem, the club has dug a well and are trying to reuse 1 million liters of water per day for the daily operation of its stadium and soccer field;
  • Waste management and recycling – grass cut with a mowing machine is supplied to animal farms;
  • Reducing plastic and trash after each game;
  • Reusable cups for fans bearing the Colo-Colo brand; and
  • Large recycling barrels for the community.

 

Adidas role

  • Shirt is made with 100 percent recycled materials; and
  • Colo-Colo joined the ‘Run for Ocean’ campaign.

 
Asserted Pérez, “Adidas is a big player in sustainability and is also focused on sustainability. The fabric of our players’ jersey is made of recyclable materials and Adidas has different initiatives worldwide and Colo-Colo is supporting them in their Green endeavor. For example, ‘Run for the Oceans’. The initiative is to try to eliminate plastic from oceans and stop plastics from being dumped in the oceans. Our plan is to become the most sustainable team by 2022 and for this we have identified different objectives for carving out a sustainable path.”
 

Huella Alba Verde (Green footprint)

 

Leaving behind a lasting legacy:

  • Reforestation drive;
  • Planting saplings;
  • Environmental education for schools and universities through partnership with Councils and regional Governments; and
  • Green education for kids in Chile through more than 100 football schools in the country.

 

Huella Alba Rosada (Pink footprint – women-centric)

  • To promote gender equality through different female academy categories; and
  • To ensure that more girls play football and to include them in the football school network through club’s legends visits, seminars and civic environmental education.

 

Huella Alba Centenario (Centenary footprint)

  • Colo-Colo aims to become the most sustainable team by 2025;
  • Reducing carbon footprint;
  • Zero waste;
  • Water reuse system;
  • Waste reuse system;
  • Introducing solar panels; and
  • To become the first Green stadium in Chile.

 
Going by Colo-Colo’s Green goals, it is clear that the club wants to be remembered not only for its on-pitch feats but also for its sustainability initiatives as the club is well aware of the fact that a huge climatic catastrophe is waiting to happen and sustainability measures are the answer to arrest extreme weather events occurring all over the globe which has the potential to impact all life on Earth.

Continue to follow Coliseum for latest updates on venues business news. Coliseum is dedicated towards building the best global community of sports and entertainment venue executives and professionals creating better and more profitable venues.

Become a member of the only Global Sports Venue Alliance and connect with stadiums, arenas and experts from around the world. Apply for membership at coliseum-online.com/alliance and make use of the 365Coliseum Business.




« Previous News:
» Next News:



More News

Camp Nou stadium update October 2021

Project Espai Barça to get up steam

Published: October 20th, 2021

The project to remodel Camp Nou – home of top-flight FC Barcelona (Spain) – build a new... » Read more

EFL Green clubs

EFL clubs take up the Green cudgels

Published: October 20th, 2021

The English Football League (EFL) (UK) announced recently the launch of ‘EFL Green Clubs’, a... » Read more

Irish stadiums back to full capacity

Capacity crowd allowed in Ireland stadia

Published: October 20th, 2021

The Government of Ireland have confirmed that they are pressing ahead with plans to allow sports... » Read more

OVG expands into Canada

OVG starts Canadian odyssey

Published: October 20th, 2021

The American entertainment and sports facilities company Oak View Group (OVG) is taking on its... » Read more


Receive global sports venue NEWS twice a week in your inbox