Battle of the brands for Spanish football

Cinto Ajram - The Expert Corner - Johan Cruyff Institute

Banks, soft drinks and beers are the leading sponsors of Spanish football, with a crushing dominance in recent years

Benchmarking made by our student: Daniel Borda.

That Spanish football and, more specifically, LaLiga Santander and LaLiga 123 are a great showcase for any brand that wants to dominate the national territory, is not something that surprises anyone. In fact, the big brands have been taking positions in an increasingly competitive environment to be able to get closer to the fans and followers of the main clubs. This engagement with their teams converts the thousands of potential customers of the big brands into a real candy that everyone wants to get a piece of.

Fans’ propensity to consume is noticeably higher for brands that support their team than for brands that compete with it, and that has a price that is worth paying.

In recent years, this fight for Spanish football has clearly been accentuated in some very strategic sectors such as banking, beers or soft drinks, and we have seen several key movements in these sectors.

Battle of the brands for Spanish football - Johan Cruyff Institute

 

In terms of rankings, we see a clear predominance of Coca-Cola in the soft drinks sector, demonstrating an overwhelming dominance over its competitors with practically 80% of all the clubs of LaLiga Santander and LaLiga 123.

CaixaBank is the company that has closed the most deals in recent times, setting alarm bells ringing, for example, with its entry into Real Madrid, a territory that was key for the entity’s business. With 31 of the clubs in both leagues, the bank has a big piece of the pie and the main teams in the market, including FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia, among many others.

 

Battle of the brands for Spanish football - Johan Cruyff Institute

The other key sector is the beer sector, with a traditional fight between many brands that presents a very interesting geographical distribution, with Mahou clearly dominating all the clubs of the Community of Madrid (Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, Getafe and Leganés) and Damm clearly dominating the Mediterranean region, very faithful to its “Mediterranean-ness”, with agreements with FC Barcelona, Girona, Espanyol and Valencia.

Battle of the brands for Spanish football - Johan Cruyff Institute

This fight for the sponsorship of football clubs is not surprising in sectors in which consumption and dealing with customers are key elements, and in which brands can take advantage of the great potential influence that clubs have over their supporters to achieve much cleaner and more direct impacts than through conventional advertising.

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Cinto Ajram, economist and graduate of several master degrees, is the director of Cruyff Consulting, the consulting department of the Johan Cruyff Institute specializing in marketing and sports sponsorship. He has more than 12 years experience in different multinationals, including FC Barcelona, Zúrich Seguros and Banco Sabadell. As Director of Sponsorships of FC Barcelona, he led the department and the activations with more than 40 national and international sponsors, coordinating a team of people based in Hong Kong, New York and Barcelona. His most impressive activation, among many others, was of the greatest jersey sponsorship in the club’s history, Rakuten. Cinto is also a professor of sports sponsorship and marketing of the main masters and postgraduate courses in Spain.

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