Additionally, the joint venture will act as the media rights agency for MENA and the Indian subcontinent.
Spanish soccer’s LaLiga has announced a new long-term joint venture (JV) with Dubai-headquartered esports and gaming organisation Galaxy Racer (GXR).
The intent of forming a 15-year joint venture (JV) is to transform the organisation’s presence in the Middle East and North Africa region and Indian subcontinent.
The JV positions GXR as LaLiga’s local partner in the MENA market and Indian subcontinent, setting up what the two parties claim will be a historic first for sports rights in the territories with projected revenue in excess of $2.98bn over the course of the relationship.
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.
In addition, the joint venture will act as the media rights agency for the broadcast and media rights for the MENA and Indian subcontinent.
The deal provides LaLiga with a pathway to share its intellectual property (IP) through a local partner already offering considerable market reach – GXR has over 500m followers worldwide – and a platform for growth that leverages expertise in six key verticals: licensing, content creation, esports, influencer/talent management, merchandising and music.
Commenting on the deal, 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.”
Paul Roy, CEO & Founder of Galaxy Racer, 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.”
Maite Ventura, LaLiga’s Managing Director for the Middle East and North Africa, stated: “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.”
A key strength of the agreement is the creation of a production studio for the JV. The studio will harness Galaxy Racer’s extensive experience in licensing, product development and content generation, production and broadcasting in a region seen as one of the fastest growing territories in the business of sport due to a major pipeline of investments in areas such as golf, boxing, F1 and horse racing in recent years, as well as the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 which is set to take place later this year.
Based in the 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 Officer (CEO) Maite Ventura. Luis Cardenas, Commercial Director for LaLiga MENA, will be the chief commercial officer (CCO).
The JV will work in coordination with the league’s delegates based in Morocco, Egypt, Qatar, KSA, Turkey, Israel, India and the UAE, a key component for regional growth.
Several LaLiga and Galaxy Racer collaborations are already 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.