How a wall turned into an opportunity: La Liga signed a deal for socks sponsorship

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Before I start my article, I would like to thank you one of my readers who dropped the idea to search for that. In 2014, LaLiga signed a deal for socks sponsorship. For me, it was the first time listening something similar so in the beginning, I thought it could be something innovative.

It was a signed deal with a Chinese soccer accessories companies Sockatyes who would be responsible for the production. In 2014, Konami made use of the new sponsorship opportunity. The reason behind that was to promote the Pro Evolution Soccer game featuring in the socks of the participating clubs for the final six games of the season 2014/2015.

If someone checks pictures on the internet he/she will realize that strategically it was at first something innovative. Think of watching a football game, have you ever focused on the socks? The answer will be probably NO. People may focus on new shoes that athletes are branding, but in general when people watch the game, TV focuses on footballers faces, reactions and team shirts.

As a result, despite it was an innovative attempt of a sponsorship deal, LaLiga decided to end it up costing them a small amount of money. Despite that move from Konami, LaLiga turned it into an amazing opportunity for a great partnership which was taken as an advantage from the failure of their rivals.

In 2015, there was an extension of a partnership agreement between EA Sports Inc and LaLiga for the next 4 years. As it was mentioned then, “EA was delighted for that extension and working with a prestigious organization which will offer to both entities satisfaction for that strategic alliance.” Why that? Because it gave access to EA to reach the international markets that they were not established which is one of the strategies they had.  They want to get connected more deeply with the fans that they are following the teams and give them a great opportunity to gain a uniquely personal experience. How they manage to do it? They collaborate with Sockatyes and the branding of EA Sport it is visible and located on the advertising straps located on the socks of the players from 14 out of 20 LaLiga clubs that are presented to the game.

Comparing it to my recent article about sleeve sponsorship in Premier League I came down to a few conclusions. The strategic move by LaLiga is better in economic terms as it is less expensive to sleeve sponsorship and it has fewer implications if they want to terminate the partnership. Although PL is considered as the best football championship, the chances for branding or activations are less. On the contrary, although EA Sports logo is not so visible as it is located on the socks, it is easier for them to do better activations and be able to use the images and the faces of the players. It is true that in both cases, partners have the chance to penetrate to global, national and local markets but in case of EA Sports, it is more successful due to the strategical move to penetrate markets that they are not established.

Closing the article, when it comes to sponsorship, choosing the right partner is always the key to the success. Most of the companies are focusing on short-term aspects of the money that they will spend and not long-term which is customer acquisition, branding, and profits. In my opinion, I would not say that I prefer the one or the other option but I would rather be focusing what are my goals and my strategies that I want to accomplish with any kind of sponsorship.

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