Beijing, China 27th July – From July 25th to 26th, the globally recognized Leaders Sport Business Summit touched down in Beijing. LaLiga chaired a roundtable, focusing on the theme of LaLiga’s international expansion strategy of sports projects. The roundtable facilitated the sharing and exchange of knowledge and ideas, attended by high-level delegates from football clubs, leagues and broader sports federations from 11 countries.
Presented by LaLiga’s Deputy General Manager of Great China, Zhang Le, and the Sports Project Development Manager, Carlos Casal, this roundtable was an opportunity to share the experience and knowledge of sports projects and how they have a role in the business strategy of helping to build strategic partnerships and relationships to develop football in different contexts and countries.
In the last few years, LaLiga has positioned itself as a key player in international development by setting an example for other football leagues and federations. The presentation by Zhang Le covered LaLiga’s existing football projects in China, divided into three parts: High Performance, Elite Training, and Grassroots Football. Firstly, the High-Performance Program highlights the collaboration with CFA (China Football Association) to enhance professional skills and performance. Professional players and coaches in China will have the chance to be trained by top-award winning coaches from Spain. Secondly, the Elite Training Program, carried by LaLigaClub, aims to provide the best training methods to Chinese young football players to allow them to attain sufficient skills at a competitive level through a long-term, integral training process. LaLigaClub elite training base has already been established in Kunming and will be announced later this year, meaning new opportunities and channels will be offered to top young talents to LaLiga. Lastly, the Grassroots Football is tailored for school football and Zhang Le has reaffirmed LaLiga’s commitment to contribute to the development of China’s Football Grassroots education. This will continue LaLiga to work closely with the CEAIE (China Education Association for International Exchange) to send Spanish coaches to Chinese public schools, bringing the finest football methodologies and coaching to grassroots players in the country. Through the ongoing program, over 150,000 children have benefitted from top-level mentoring from LaLiga’s training coaches.
“with these significant partnerships, LaLiga has a lot of confidence that our projects can bring the right talents in and teach them the tactical, technical, physical and mental attribute to keep improving Chinese football grassroots.” Zhang Le added.
LaLiga’s Sports Projects Development Manager, Carlos Casal stated, “LaLiga, as a world-leading football league, is promoting football across the world. In 2017, 254 LaLiga coaches have been dispatched to 19 different countries, of which 124 of them were dispatched to China supporting youth footballers and coaches develop to their maximum potential. China is an important market for LaLiga and we have already achieved significant results in youth development in recent years.”
In this regard, Carlos shared with his experience as a coach in the CEAIE project and attributed the success to the project qualities.
“One of the reasons for the success is we have the best coaches. Spain’s football consistently stays on top and we will also adapt our methodology in different contexts and countries. The other secret of success is about how LaLiga supports this kind of projects from a technical side, which is the follow-up system, we’ll never dispatch coaches than wash our hands. We follow-up every coaches’ performance even we have an app to do this, the app could send a weekly update to LaLiga headquarter so that we ensured the coaching quality.”
Founded in 1984, LaLiga (Liga de Fútbol Profesional) is a sports association comprising 42 teams that make up the first and second divisions of professional football in Spain. LaLiga, based in Madrid and with a permanent office in Shanghai, is responsible for the LaLiga Santander and LaLiga 123 leagues and the television production, which in the 2016/2017 season reached more than 2.5 billion people globally. The association also has an active foundation and is the world’s only professional football league with a league for intellectually challenged footballers: LaLiga Genuine.