Ronaldo Nazario: “LaLiga is more exciting than ever, anything can happen. It’s undoubtedly the best league in the world.”
Ronaldo Nazario, president of Real Valladolid, was the most acclaimed figure present at SPIA Asia, an international congress held on 2 and 3 December in Manila and which brought together hundreds of representatives and speakers from the South Asian sports industry and other countries.
Ivan Codina, Director of LaLiga for Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea and Australia, Almudena Gomez, LaLiga Delegate for the Philippines, as well as representatives from Valencia CF, RCD Mallorca and Real Valladolid were also present at the event. It is the fifth edition of this international sports industry conference, in which representatives of leagues and federations, renowned brands, associations and athletes exchange knowledge and experiences on sports marketing, international strategy, inclusion and innovation in sport, and other matters besides.
During the press conference organized by LaLiga, Ronaldo was enthusiastic about being invited to the congress and for being in the Philippines: “We are changing many things in our club, and one of them is our international reach. We are starting to work internationally; we want to be well-known and have people fall in love with our brand.” He was asked about his reason to remain connected to LaLiga and specifically to Real Valladolid: “I have history with LaLiga, I spent seven years playing in the competition. Valladolid is a very special LaLiga club, with history and a lot of potential. It’s a big challenge, and I’m delighted with the decision I took. We will fight hard to stay in LaLiga Santander.” Regarding LaLiga’s competitiveness, the Brazilian noted that the competition is more closely-fought than ever, saying “last season was tough, I suffered, we suffer, but we succeeded, but I hope this season we enjoy ourselves more and suffer less because LaLiga is more competitive than ever, the clubs are very evenly-balanced, so it’s not going to be easy. And yes, it’s the best league in the world,” he concluded.
“We have been working in Asia for two years and we are more than satisfied,” commented Ivan Codina, director of LaLiga in Southeast Asia regarding the strategy of the competition in the continent. “We carry this out through the three offices we have on the continent and a dozen international delegates. In these different territories we always work with the leagues and the local federations, we collaborate.” LaLiga’s representative participated in a presentation on the impact and strategy of football leagues in Asia.
Representatives of the LaLiga Santander teams also participated in a panel on the international strategies of clubs in Asia last Monday. “Asia is a strategic continent for us, in fact we achieved an audience of 18 million viewers last season and we already have 1.4 million followers in Asia on our social networks,” Josep Borrell, commercial strategy coordinator of Valencia CF, told attendees. As for Albert Salas, director of RCD Mallorca, he noted in his presentation that “with Kubo joining the club we have opened up even more to the international market and especially to the Asian market.” The feat achieved by the club, climbing from Segunda B to LaLiga Santander, was also highlighted. He also explained the club’s close relationship with the NBA, as well as the achievement of having secured two consecutive promotions.
As for David Espinar, director of the Cabinet of the Presidency of Real Valladolid, he explained to the attendees how the club had changed since the arrival of its new president, Ronaldo Nazario. “He is not only a shareholder and the president; he is a globally recognized figure who acts as our club’s ambassador. We want to continue to open up to the world, get people to know our brand, but we are not looking for business partners per se, we want to make friends who fall in love with us,” explained the representative of the Castille y Leon-based club. He told attendees about the club’s positive experience last season in the USA and Canada and reiterated its interest in continuing to work internationally.
Once again, LaLiga’s great commitment to social responsibility projects was highlighted. Almudena Gomez, Delegate of LaLiga in the Philippines, participated in a presentation on inclusion and new strategies in sponsorships and establishing projects in which she explained the LaLiga Genuine Santander project, the official competition organized by LaLiga for people with disabilities and in which 36 of its clubs participate.
This prestigious international gathering, SPIA Asia 2019, which takes place at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Manila, is part of the activities organised for the 30th edition of the South East Asian Games.
As for LaLiga’s presence in Asia, it currently has three offices on the mainland (Singapore, China and India), as well as 12 delegates working permanently in the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Australia, among other territories. In addition to agreements with local sponsors and specific social networks in several Asian countries, LaLiga has also signed various agreements with local leagues and federations.