Spanish soccer’s top-tier LaLiga has unveiled a rebrand of its LaLiga Tech subsidiary following a joint venture agreement with digital technology firm Globant.
The new Sportian brand name was revealed at an event at the Civitas Metropolitano stadium in Madrid yesterday (October 2).
LaLiga launched and separated its digital services into the LaLiga Tech company in late 2021 and subsequently became a joint venture in 2022 when Globant acquired a 51% majority stake in the company.
Explaining the rebrand in an interview with GlobalData Sport, Alejandro Scannapieco, the chief executive of Sportian, said: “We want to become a global leader in terms of sports reinvention. We want to be more aligned with a technology company, the name LaLiga Tech still had the flavor of LaLiga and soccer and we want to be much more than that.
“We want to create a brand that inspires people and is connected to sports and technology with the snap of a finger. The new brand is going to have some attributes that are relevant for us.”
In addition to its focus on bringing new technologies like artificial intelligence to the world of sports, Sportian is consolidating three new product lines:
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Ignite Your Fan Experience – digital products to increase audiences and enhance the digital fan experience.
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Scannapieco said: “The transition to Sportian signifies a strong commitment to innovation, where the most disruptive technology meets the passion for sports and entertainment. With Sportian, we aim to redefine fan experiences, enhance data utilization, and transform the very essence of the industry.”
The tie-up with Globant expanded LaLiga Tech’s offering and was aimed at creating a solution for organizations seeking to engage a new generation of supporters in different parts of the world.
The goal of the joint venture is to expand and accelerate the product range presently available through Sportian.
Scannapieco, who has been part of Globant for 15 years, said: “The partnership was natural because on the Globant side, we started helping LaLiga with many different projects and we got to know each other and knew that they had a tech company that was manufacturing and developing products and solutions.
“If we want to become a reference in the sector as far as leaders, we realized this could be a shortcut and beneficial for LaLiga also. It was natural to see that there was a joint opportunity.”
Globant last year also agreed a wide-ranging commercial deal with soccer’s governing body FIFA to become the global platform supporter of the FIFA+ streaming platform, a regional supporter of the 2022 World Cup, and a sponsor of the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The firm has made a strategic entry into the sports and entertainment sector and launched a sports vertical in June.
Through its new strategy, Sportian is seeking to reinvent the sports and entertainment industry through specialized technology.
It is already the main technology provider for the top two divisions of Spanish soccer and will execute LaLiga’s strategy for clubs to modernize their stadiums using innovative technology.
Scannapieco explained: “The sports industry is still at the very early stage in terms of digital transformation. Sports properties and organizations are understanding the challenge of how to keep up with the pace of fans who need more enlightening and enriching experiences. They connect with sports in a very different way.
“There are several challenges that are prevailing in the industry where technology can make a shift. Our technology can help these traditional organizations.
“Traditionally, properties are used to dealing with sponsorships, audiovisual rights, and building infrastructure but there's much more than that. The way to reinvent these experiences is through our technology and how we can help engage fans with sports properties and help competitions incorporate technology developments is going to shape a brand-new game for sports and entertainment and that's the vision behind the reinvention.”
Through the subsidiary, LaLiga has packaged its existing technologies into a commercial offering for the sports industry, from matchday stats and analytics to “the next generation” of OTT streaming services, advanced content protection services, and venue access management systems.
The league’s tech arm already has a portfolio of clients across the sports and entertainment industry such as MotoGP promoter Dorna Sports, Sky Mexico, Belgian soccer’s Pro League, Portuguese soccer's top-tier Liga Portugal, and the Royal Belgian Football Association.
It also works with North America’s Major League Rugby, teams in basketball’s NBA, and the World Padel Tour.
In total, it has more than 60 clients and a presence across North and Latin America, Europe, and Asia.
Scannapieco believes the rebrand can help the entity secure even more partnerships across sports and entertainment.
He said: “The change and the evolution of the brand is going to give us more power, more freedom, and a very good understanding of the marketplace.
“The core of our solutions is meant for sports organizations, the competitions, and the fans. However, there are many organizations that are connected to entertainment.
“For instance, we are providing content and brand protection services, we have a very strong product there to protect from piracy. This is not purely related to sports, it’s related to entertainment and content. Our focus is still on the sports industry but there are solutions that can go beyond this and more into the entertainment side. Our value proposition transcends the sports industry.”
Sportian currently covers 80% of the technology used in Spanish soccer and is seeking to position itself as a major player in the sports technology market which is estimated to have a global value of almost €30 billion ($31.4 billion), with a projected annual growth of 19% until 2027.
The rebranded tech entity believes it has unique services that can place it at the forefront of the sector.
Scannapieco concluded: “We want to position ourselves as a worldwide leader in terms of the reinvention of the industry, and at the same time, be the sole provider of an ecosystem of solutions that can be fit for any type of organization and that's a big evolution from what was inherited from LaLiga at the beginning.
“A big part of our evolution is connected to creating modular solutions with flexible architecture fit for different tiers of clients so they can select models and solutions based on their needs, budget, and business priorities.
“There are many niche players in this industry, but it’s hard to find the players that can provide a whole ecosystem of solutions, all of them connected throughout different layers that can be adaptable and become nimble.
“There are several things that we want to accommodate to be perceived and actually deliver on that as the worldwide leader in terms of providing this core ecosystem of solutions.”