Spanish soccer’s LaLiga has today (September 6) announced a new long-term joint venture (JV) with esports and gaming organization Galaxy Racer (GXR) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and Indian subcontinent.
Under the 15-year agreement, GXR will serve as LaLiga’s local partner in the MENA market and Indian subcontinent with the league expecting to generate over €3 billion in revenue from the tie-up.
The two parties have signed a letter of intent and entered into an exclusive period to conclude contract details and the establishment of the JV. LaLiga and GXR will each hold a 50% stake in the new entity.
The JV will offer LaLiga “new avenues and opportunities to increase brand presence across a key target region.”
In addition, the new arm will act as the media rights agency for the broadcast and media rights for the MENA and Indian subcontinent.
The Spanish top-flight added that the deal provides “an innovative pathway to share its intellectual property through a local partner already offering considerable market reach and a platform for growth that leverages expertise in six key verticals: licensing, content creation, esports, influencer and talent management, merchandising, and music.”
Oscar Mayo, executive director at LaLiga, said: “With the market set to enter a new era of growth, this is the right moment to take our business in the region to the next level and attract the next generation of younger sport fans to our competition.
“This historic partnership is set to boost the popularity of LaLiga and football in MENA and the Indian subcontinent. With Galaxy Racer’s extensive experience in the region as one of the world’s largest transmedia powerhouses, we believe they are the ideal partner to help us reach a fresh new audience and unlock the true potential of LaLiga in the region.”
The deal will help LaLiga “speak to younger audiences meaningfully, through content creation and a crossover focus on gaming and esports, as well as new consumer products – from apparel to collectibles – and a wide range of activations.”
GXR, which was founded in 2019 by group chief executive Paul Roy, claims to be the largest esports, gaming, and lifestyle organization in the world with 500 million followers and a presence in the MENA region, North America, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Europe.
Roy added: “The LaLiga brand is powerful, but its potential remains untapped amongst millennials and GenZ in the MENA region and Indian subcontinent.
“Our opportunity is to connect with a younger audience in a way that resonates with them. Galaxy Racer has a market reach that will help unlock that potential and elevate LaLiga to an aspirational brand for target audiences in the region.”
A key aspect of the agreement will be the creation of a production studio for the JV.
Based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the JV will feature a team of around 20 people dedicated to developing the brand and securing new business opportunities, with a five-person board of directors including chief executive Maite Ventura.
Luis Cardenas, commercial director for LaLiga MENA, will be chief commercial officer.
The JV will work in coordination with the league’s delegates based in Morocco, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, India, and the UAE.
LaLiga already has international offices in Dubai and New Delhi.
The top Spanish league and Galaxy Racer already have several collaborations in the works including a documentary series, tournaments, merchandise, physical events, and activations.
GXR will also curate creator activities to showcase the LaLiga brand throughout the year and will launch a roster of LaLiga-focused creators.
Ventura said: “Partnering with Galaxy Racer is a major milestone in our international expansion strategy. This agreement ensures not only a bright future for football in MENA and the Indian subcontinent, but also for LaLiga and our clubs.
“Success for us is seeing more of the younger crowd playing and enjoying the game, we want to tap into the hearts and minds of the millennials and GenZ. With Galaxy Racer’s expertise in the market, we will be able to truly build fan loyalty and position LaLiga as a top-of-mind brand for football and lifestyle.”
LaLiga has similar joint ventures in North America with sports marketing agency Relevent Sports Group and in China with media agency and production company Mediapro and Super Sports Media, a subsidiary of Chinese sports and entertainment giant Wuhan DDMC Culture, to grow its commercial business in those markets.