Santander prolongs LaLiga title sponsorship to 2021
By Simon Ward
Santander, the prominent Spanish bank, has extended its title sponsorship of LaLiga by a further year to the end of the 2020-21 season, it was announced today.
The bank has been the main partner of the country’s top two soccer leagues since the 2016-17 campaign when a three-year deal worth €20 million ($22.6 million) per annum came into effect.
It confirmed on Thursday that it was taking up its one-year option for the 2019-20 season, while also committing for a further 12 months.
The deal covers the top-tier LaLiga Santander and second-tier LaLiga 1|2|3, and other ventures including the LaLiga Genuine Santander, a competition for young people with intellectual disabilities, the LaLiga Promises Santander, a leading under-12 tournament involving teams from Spain and abroad, and the LaLiga ProPlayer, a new initiative in which young Spanish footballers receive scholarships to study and play soccer at US universities.
Santander has expanded its soccer footprint in recent years, becoming a sponsor of Europe’s Uefa Champions League in a three-year deal that started this season, and South America’s Copa Libertadores, in an agreement that continues into 2019.
Santander spends an estimated €40 million per year on sports sponsorship, and surveys show it has been the most recognisable brand in this area in Spain for the past two years.
Rami Aboukhair, chief executive of Santander Spain, said today: “We're proud to give our name to the best league in the world and, through sport, to contribute to the progress of society and promote the brand of Spain. We continue to support sport in general - and football in particular - because sport represents values such as the search for success through teamwork, constant innovation and commitment. These are values that we share and which are the DNA of our organisation."
LaLiga president Javier Tebas added: “When we joined forces with the world's best and most innovative bank, we knew that it would really help us with our internationalisation efforts. During these first three seasons, we've seen how the link-up between LaLiga and Santander has been such a natural fit that we've been able to share our experiences, both sporting and in terms of sponsorship, to create two of the greatest brands in the world."
LaLiga remains in the market for other sponsors having last December appointed IMG as its exclusive commercial agency for global deals.
IMG replaced CSM, the UK-based international sports and entertainment agency, which had been the exclusive global sponsorship agency of the league since March 2016.