LaLiga and Banco Santander have announced by mutual agreement to terminate the current sponsorship contract that the bank has had with the competition since the 2016/2017 season. The change, which will take effect from the 2023/2024 campaign onwards, is the result of a joint decision by both organisations to explore new ways of collaboration, both together and with third parties. LaLiga will announce new developments regarding the competition’s naming rights from the 2023/24 season onwards in the coming weeks.
During these six seasons of collaboration, the relationship between LaLiga and Banco Santander has transcended mere official sponsorship of the competition. It has been a period of close collaboration between the two institutions, with strong understanding and rapport that has fomented the promotion of successful joint projects such as LaLiga Promises (U12 football) in addition to main sponsorship of the LaLiga competition.
One of the most iconic products of this collaboration is undoubtedly LaLiga Genuine Santander, the competition for players with learning disabilities. So much so that Banco Santander, which has been one of the main driving forces behind this initiative since its inception in the 2017/18 season, and LaLiga are working together on a model to continue sponsoring this competition which has meant that LaLiga, together with its Foundation, is the first professional football league in the world to have a competition for footballers with learning disabilities.
LaLiga president Javier Tebas said: “We thank you for the trust you have placed in LaLiga over the years, and we are convinced that we will continue to collaborate on future projects with Banco Santander in order to grow and promote both brands.”
Antonio Simões, Regional Head of Europe and CEO of Santander Spain, added: “We are delighted with our partnership with LaLiga over the years and are keen to explore further avenues of collaboration.”
Both organisations have developed a close and fruitful relationship during the six seasons of collaboration, with great achievements that go beyond just advertising presence, involving strategic national and international development projects, in digital environments and at an observable level for football fans.
It is worth highlighting initiatives such as the LaLiga Global Network, which allowed LaLiga, in collaboration with Banco Santander and Universia, to take the decisive step in its internationalisation with the creation of the network of LaLiga Global Network delegates, which currently has a total of 44professionals present in 41 markets across the world.
Education has been another pillar of the relationship between LaLiga and Banco Santander, joining forces to create LaLiga ProPlayer and to promote university education and in the creation of sports scholarships in the USA for players in lower categories, as well as the creation of a training programme for active professional footballers in 2021. LaLiga Business School’s Global Players Program was the first of its kind among major European leagues and was attended by 30 players in its first edition.
In terms of entertainment and digital development, Banco Santander has provided strong support for eLaLiga, LaLiga’s eSports competition, as well as the Santander Football Quiz, an application jointly developed to entertain, test and reward LaLiga Santander fans week after week. These projects allowed the bank and LaLiga to connect with a wider community and a younger audience, both key to their business objectives.
During the pandemic, when football competition was temporarily suspended, LaLiga and Banco Santander joined forces to continue entertaining fans and launched #LaLigaSantanderFest, an online festival in which 50 artists and footballers came together to raise funds for the fight against COVID-19. Social awareness has characterised the partnership between the two institutions in recent seasons, leading to a host of other projects such as ‘Hambre a 0′, collaborations with the Food Bank (Banco de Alimentos) and financial contributions to national and international projects run by the LaLiga Foundation for underprivileged people across society.
The 2022/23 season will be the final season of collaboration as the main sponsor of the competition and both organisations have expressed their commitment to continue in the same line and with the same dedication to maximise the benefits of the sponsorship and contribute to achieving mutual growth objectives.