How Spanish clubs embraced the transfer market to grow their brands


LaLiga clubs are announcing more and more player signings with original, creative and entertaining content for fans.

As they look to connect with new audiences around the world, clubs believe these ads are a great way to build brand equity.

Valencia CF and Villarreal CF are among the many teams that stood out and marked the January transfer window.

The transfer market is a time when football fans can get excited about the arrival of great players in their teams, but it is also a time for clubs, through their communication and marketing departments, to make show of ingenuity and creativity to announce these signatures.

Clubs are becoming adept at stoking that excitement, even before the real football matches take place. During the last transfer market in January, Spanish teams looked for the most impactful and original ways to present their new signings to the world, as they had already begun to do in recent years. The moment a new player is announced has become an opportunity to connect with football fans around the world.

The magic of Mestalla through Bryan Gil and Harry Potter

While every player announcement is a chance to grab global attention and surprise and motivate a fanbase, the originality put into Valencia CF’s post about the acquisition of Bryan Gil was particularly eye-catching.

The January signing of the Tottenham Hotspur player in London, the city that is the launch pad for the magic of Harry Potter, was announced by Valencia CF fan and film series actor Oliver Phelps in the role by George Weasley. In a video, the actor explains that he “saw incredible magic coming out of London” and that there is now “a magician on the wing whose destination is the most magical temple in the world, Mestalla”.

At the VCF MEDIA department, which is responsible for content and communications at Valencia CF, the clear narrative of this signing was magical and they were delighted with Phelps’ involvement. “It allowed us to surprise and connect with a global audience, generating a major impact in media around the world,” explained the people working in this department.

The relationship between Valencia CF and Phelps is nothing new, as it began at a Harry Potter event that took place in the city in 2019. Recalling that introduction, the club said: “We took advantage of it and invited Oliver and his brother James. in Mestalla, where they got to know the club in detail and where they fell in love with Valencia CF. They were able to watch and enjoy the Copa del Rey final that we won in our centenary year and they now have a close relationship with the club, having become fans and promoters of Valencianismo at international level.

The example of Bryan Gil isn’t the only instance of Valencia CF looking to cause a stir with a transfer announcement, as Los Che aim to surprise their fans with every new signing they make. In this regard, the club pointed out that: “There is a desire for innovation in virtually every aspect of all areas of all departments. This attitude, which comes from Chairman Anil Murthy himself, is what drives the entire VCF MEDIA team to try and do something different.

Lo Celso brings mate and magic to Villarreal CF

At Villarreal CF, Argentinians Gero Rulli and Juan Foyth welcomed compatriot Giovani Lo Celso to the club with a charming video. The pair were looking for someone to make ‘mate’, the traditional Argentine drink, something former player Rogelio Funes Mori was responsible for, then, after looking for ‘someone magical’ for a few moments, Foyth says that he knows a “very good left foot” he met in London. They talk on a video call and new signing Lo Celso promises to bring the mate to town.

Looking back on this creative content, Hernán Sanz, Communication Director of Villarreal CF, said: “We used Gero Rulli and Juan Foyth as ‘actors’ in an entertaining way to show a closer and more human side. We were looking for interaction and identification with an important and well-known market, the Argentinian market, which has a great historical connection with our club.

According to Sanz, whenever a special announcement is needed, they try to create different and original content to achieve the greatest reach possible. He continued, “This can be a good opportunity to build value as a brand. The aim is for our fans to be informed and entertained and to interact with the content we create, while any football fan might want to follow Villarreal CF on social media because they find the content entertaining. The objective is to grow, create interactions and bring greater visibility to the club and its philosophy.

At Villarreal CF, they understand that these kinds of campaigns can put the club in front of new audiences of different ages, which is important. Sanz added, “By producing content that is informative and, most importantly, entertaining, you open up the market and find new avenues to grow the brand. We don’t aim for everyone who sees him to become Villarreal CF supporters, but we want them to get to know the club a little better each time and establish an interaction and affinity.

Thanks to this, Villarreal CF is experiencing significant growth in its social media profiles, with 4.3 million followers on its channels. In January, they reached a total of 1,805,945 engagements and a total value of €918,857.92 for their brands. The platform on which they have the most followers is Instagram (with 1,161,000), while TikTok (with 410,000) is the one that has grown the most in a minimum of time, thanks to entertaining and trending content, with a growth of 132% in the month of December alone. “With our social media content, we convey our identity as a brand,” Sanz concluded.

Reach fans by being creative, current and humorous

Real Betis are another club to have taken important steps, renewing the contracts of players like Nabil Fekir, Rodri, Borja Iglesias and Álex Moreno. With Rodri’s contract renewal, for example, the club worked with Argentinian comedians Jero Freixas and José de Cabo to bring the news to their fans, while they worked with Spanish influencer Ibai Llanos to announce the extension. by Borja Iglesias. This was very well received by fans and increased engagement.

Meanwhile, RCD Mallorca caused a stir by announcing the signing of Kosovar player Vedat Muriqi using the FIFA video game and joking about the metaverse. It was just one of many examples of LaLiga clubs turning transfer announcements into a new art form.

This article originally appeared in LaLiga world soccernewsletter.

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