One of the five pillars for LaLiga North America, the joint venture between LaLiga and Relevent Sports to expand Spanish soccer and the league’s brand in the United States and Canada, is to develop talent while promoting the sport as a whole.
LaLiga North America today announced a multi-year partnership with Alianza de Futbol, the largest and most prestigious Hispanic amateur soccer program in the country, to create opportunities for youth participation and development, specifically within the Hispanic community.
“Alianza has a proven track record with the Hispanic audience in the United States, and the reach they have with their events, specifically with the national showcase, makes them the perfect partner for the audience that we’re trying to reach,” LaLiga North America CEO Boris Gartner said. “There’s no doubt in our mind that the target market for LaLiga in the medium run is the general audience but while we get there, having a close relationship with the Hispanic audience is key.”
Through the partnership, two UEFA-certified LaLiga coaches will attend the Sueño Alianza National Showcase, which brings together the best undiscovered soccer talent in the U.S. where they will select the top players to represent an all-star team that will travel to Spain for a two-week tour, paid for by LaLiga. In Spain, the all-star team will train and play against LaLiga academies and other clubs while showcasing their talent to club scouts in the hopes of signing professional contracts.
“Everything we do here is at the service of the clubs,” Gartner said. “This is a perfect way to do it as we try to get U.S. talent playing in LaLiga.”
LaLiga will also participate in Alianza’s 10-city tour across the United States from May to September, getting first-hand access to approximately 300,000 attendees in key markets including Atlanta, Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and El Paso, Texas.
Alianza de Futbol has impacted more than 1 million Hispanic persons through its events since its founding in 2004. The organization’s events, particularly the national showcase, have served as a launching pad for Mexican international Jonathan Gonzalez (Monterrey), U.S. U-20 international Edwin Lara (Pachuca) and Mexican U-17 international Santiago Muñoz (Santos).
Univision Deportes, which signed a four-year agreement with Alianza in April, will have exclusive access to cover the 2019 Alianza de Futbol tour and will show the content of Alianza on all its platforms from the first stop on May 25 in Atlanta. Alianza also announced a partnership with FloSports, which will provide live and on-demand English language coverage of select matches airing now through November 2021 on FloFC.com.
“Having the Spanish-language rights on Univision is huge for Alianza, for the kids and for us,” Gartner said. “It’s another window to have our brand present. There is an appetite for grassroots soccer and you see it with the traction Alianza is getting at the broadcast partner level with Univision and FloSports and at the institutional level with LaLiga.”