Feature-rich web application for top football league, created by Upstream and LaLiga, arrives in SSA to enhance mobile operators’ digital services offering
LaLiga and Upstream announce their new exclusive partnership to bring the fan-focused online portal, LaLiga Premium, to Sub-Saharan Africa mobile phone users. Upstream is a global marketing technology company, while LaLiga is home to LaLiga Santander and LaLiga Smartbank, the first and second professional divisions of Spanish football. The Spanish league hosts the globally popular “El Clasico” match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, as well as much-loved clubs, like Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Valencia, Athletic Bilbao, Villareal and more.
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The new partnership allows mobile network operators (MNOs) to tap into the rapidly growing popularity of LaLiga across Africa and to create new revenue streams by providing subscribers with access to unique and exclusive content and features. Through the exclusive web portal, football fans have access to match highlights with exclusive videos, live match commentary, podcasts, news, in-game stats, detailed player profiles, as well as a game corner with quizzes, fantasy football leagues and more games offering winners branded merchandise from their favorite clubs as well as cash prizes. LaLiga Premium is available in multiple languages and part of its content is available through feature phones as well.
A Great Result for African Mobile Subscribers and Football Fans
According to the GSMA, there are over 500 million unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa, expected to exceed 600 million by 2025, with 60% estimated to be smartphone connections, while 3G, 4G and 5G penetration are on the rise as well. Football is considered by far the most popular sport in the continent, while research shows that the number of gamers in Sub-Saharan Africa has more than doubled in just five years to over 180 million people, with 95% of gamers playing on a smartphone or tablet. Nielsen and LaLiga Tech have found that half of the young fans are looking for live stats and are more likely to be playing match-related games while watching a football match.
“The African audience is the fastest growing for LaLiga. People on the continent have a great passion for football and for years we are doing our best to bring our leagues closer to them. In this context, we opened our regional offices in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Lagos, Nigeria in 2015 and 2016” says Marcos Pelegrin, LaLiga’s Africa Managing Director. “Now, with LaLiga Premium we are bringing all our teams and the stars of our leagues right into the palms of the hands of football fans in Sub-Saharan Africa. Upstream’s mobile marketing technology, experience in digital services and deep understanding of the market have sealed this partnership”.
Growing New Revenue Streams for African Telcos
The web app operates as a freemium portal at first. This allows mobile subscribers to view and access certain content, which can then be upgraded to the full premium service and added to the users’ monthly mobile bill. Upstream’s mobile marketing platform, Grow, will support MNOs with customer acquisitions for LaLiga Premium via its ability to optimize customer journeys.
“We are thrilled to be partners with LaLiga, one of the largest and most prestigious brands in football. For mobile operators, LaLiga Premium is a fantastic opportunity to expand digital services, increase revenues, and crucially deliver an in-demand service to their subscribers through one of the world’s most exciting football leagues. Our know-how in delivering customer acquisitions for digital services guarantees the portal’s success” commented Chrysa Karamanidi, Upstream Chief Innovation Officer.