Internationalizing its brand and commercial revenues, is a key priority in Atlético de Madrid’s endeavour to establish itself among the biggest football clubs in the world. Instead of opening their own international offices, the club decided to enter a long-term partnership with the global sports marketing agency, SPORTFIVE, in its quest to become a global sports brand.
SPORTFIVE and Atlético de Madrid have identified North America (USA, Canada and Mexico) as well as Greater China as key growth markets for the club and therefore developed a long-term market strategy to grow brand and fan touchpoints in these markets as well as generate incremental commercial revenues from these markets.
SPORTFIVE nominated a dedicated team, fully integrated into SPORTFIVE’s global structure. The team operated out of its offices in New York, Shanghai and Hamburg, as well as Barcelona and Madrid, which became an extension of Atlético de Madrid’s organization. The team consists of experts in international strategy, data & insights, digital marketing and commercial sales experts working closely with their respective counterparts at the club in Madrid.
The initial scope included running the club’s foreign-language social media channels in English and Chinese, media partnerships and brand amplification as well as sourcing new regional and global partnerships with international brands.
Iñigo Aznar, CCO at Atlético de Madrid, mentioned his gratitude for the dedication and effort that were put into this partnership: "I’m really keen with our partnership with SPORTFIVE. We looked for a hands-on partner with proven experience and track record in the sector, and it is fulfilling our expectations. Our teams have had a great fit for a true collaboration and it is significantly helping us develop our brand in key territories like North America and China while increasing the business globally."
"Our teams have had a great fit for a true collaboration and it is significantly helping us develop our brand in key territories like North America and China while increasing the business globally."
Iñigo Aznar - CCO at Atlético de Madrid
thousands follower growth on Weibo, Douvin, & Twitter since May 2021
thousand page views in different languages on ESPN's homepage
million euros in four commercial partnerships
The follower growth rate on Atlético Madrid's Twitter account increased by 29% while their engagement rated increased by astounding 107%. Additionally, the engagement on Weibo also increased by 70.3%, while the average likes on Douvin increased by 158.6%. Overall, the marketing presence was upgraded with creative books, tone of voice improvement, content diversity and fans community managements.
Through a collective effort with ESPN, a lead story was published on ESPN's homepages globally in multiple languages which generated over 200,000 page views. Additionally, a media push campaign for the LaLiga championship documentary on Chinese platforms CCTV, Migu, PP Sports and iQiYi was initiated.
Four commercial partnerships with renown brands were established. Hereby the partnership with Amber Group was the main sponsorship. Joined by partnerships with OneFootball, Daka and Falken 202 million euros were generated, as well as including the biggest sponsorship deal in the history of the club.
"In November 2020, we have embarked on a comprehensive internationalization partnership with Atlético de Madrid, and within less than two years, we have made this partnership a tremendous success, both on the brand marketing and the commercial side. We are very thankful for the trust and true partnership that have been able to build with Atlético de Madrid and the club’s marketing, digital and commercial teams. SPORTFIVE is excited to be working alongside the club for many years to come. We’re just getting started."
Christian Koller, Head of Rights-holder Internationalization & SPORTFIVE project lead