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Social Media: How big is Laliga in MENA?

We all know just how much we, and the rest of the Arab world, love our football. We revel in it. Crowding the streets, stadiums, cafes and restaurants, we surround ourselves with other team supporters as matches happen. So, it stands to reason that we do it online too, right?

With this reasoning behind them, premier professional association football division, the Primera Division (LaLiga) has been pushing in Arab countries.

The Spanish competition has been pursuing an internationalization program for a while now, hoping to further expand its reach worldwide. Their social media efforts have now included Arabic captions, and a focus on previous and current Arab players, among other things to reach their Arab audiences.

2017 has been a key year for their internationalization efforts, especially in the Arab region. Overall, the page has reached up to a total of 22 Arab countries.


Laliga Social Media Insights:

LaLiga has managed to gain over 4,735,000 Facebook followers in Arab countries, out of its extensive over 31 million fans. While currently, Egypt has the most Arab fans on the page, coming up 6th overall, with Algeria and Morocco coming up in 8th and 9th place.

This reach has enabled LaLiga to attain representatives in the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco working on different projects.

The digital growth experienced by LaLiga across the Arab world is a reflection of the global expansion which has occurred in all of LaLiga’s digital channels in recent months. By publishing content in more than ten different languages, including English and Chinese, LaLiga has amassed a community of over 40 million followers on all of its social media channels. Furthermore, LaLiga has his own YouTube channel.

Why International Sports Marketing Works?

International Marketing is a complex process for any organization, large or small, with multiple factors at play. Language, culture, sub-cultures and localized behaviors have been known to shut down entire companies due to mishaps and miscalculations.

When done right however, companies bloom. Reaching a wider active audience is always an important section in any marketer’s long-term goals for their company.

The most important things to keep in mind when thinking about making your brand go international?

Localization, through research on the country’s culture, habits and competition, adaption techniques, and cultural language.

Cross language transfer content isn’t good enough, you may read it right but pronunciation may lead to mishaps you don’t want to have such as Pepsi’s mishap in China. (Pepsi’s then slogan, “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life,” was not translated well in Chinese. Making it, ““Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.”)

This is the reason why most companies who plan on promoting in different countries have their own Facebook pages, in the respective language of the country, as well as a (usually) local agency creating content.

Strangely, unlike what the majority of companies do, LaLiga does not have specific pages for their brand internationalization.

The Spanish competition aims instead to publish multiple posts a day, with varying languages and messages. They create unique messages and posts for each language, not simply translating previous messages.

LaLiga, whose international presence is practically unrivalled among other domestic competitions, is watched in 182 countries via its 90 international broadcasters. In addition to UAE, it has offices in the United States, Nigeria, South Africa, China, India, Singapore and Belgium, and it has 44 international representatives selected through the LaLiga Global Network program distributed across other strategic countries.

Check out their Facebook page here.

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