Harvard Business School publishes groundbreaking academic paper on LALIGA’s strategic development

Harvard Business School publishes groundbreaking academic paper on LALIGA's strategic development
Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School

(Football News) Harvard Business School has released an in-depth paper exploring the business dynamics of LALIGA. Titled “LALIGA: from a soccer competition organizer to a global player in the sports and entertainment industry,” this comprehensive study delves into the league’s last ten years developments building a global brand and corporation: digitalization and technology, international impact, diversification models and proactive approach towards the challenges of the football industry, among other topics.

The case study- authored by Stephen A. Greyser, Professor Emeritus (Communication and Marketing) at Harvard Business School and former Editorial Chairman of the Board at Harvard Business Review, Kenneth Corsten, Assistant Professor at University College of Northern Denmark, and Juan Fuentes, Delegate of LALIGA to the Nordic countries- sheds light on the league’s remarkable transformation from a domestic competition into a multi-faceted global enterprise.

This groundbreaking case study provides a deep analysis of several key aspects:

Globalization Strategy: The study dissects LALIGA’s approach to international expansion, including strategic partnerships, and establishment of fan bases around the world. With different Joint Ventures, offices and delegations in more than 40 countries, it examines how the league’s commitment to connecting with fans globally has influenced its brand perception and commercial growth.

Technology and Innovation: LALIGA’s pioneering technological initiatives are explored, such as its sophisticated data analytics, OTT development, fight against piracy and innovative broadcasting techniques. The consolidation of LALIGA Tech and the Joint Venture with Globant. The case study assesses how these advancements have elevated fan engagement and revolutionized the viewing experience.

Revenue Generation: The case study uncovers LALIGA’s diversified revenue streams, encompassing broadcasting rights, sponsorships, licensing or merchandising. It analyzes how the league’s business model has evolved to ensure financial and long-term sustainability, through different models, including the Boost LALIGA agreement, with CVC, that has injected to LALIGA clubs near to €2B for strategic development.

Digitalization: with more than 200 million followers, several apps and videogames, LALIGA has built a digital ecosystem that allows the organization to have direct windows to impact its audience on a daily basis.

Challenges in the football industry: The study delves into LALIGA’s commitment to the sustainability and inclusivity in the European football industry, commenting on the efforts taking from Spain to defend the current football ecosystem against threats such as financial doping and the Super League. On this scenario, HBS Professor Stephen A. Greyser and assistant Professor Kenneth Corsten, note in the paper that the European Super League was “a greed-driven initiative that would emasculate the competitive character of European football” while that the people behind the concept “should feel collectively ashamed that they were so insensitive to their stakeholders, especially the fans of their clubs”.

LALIGA´s commitment to education is clear, with its own educational department -LALIGA Business School- which prepares the future leaders of the industry, now it has actively participated in this academic research, including key perspectives from Javier Tebas, LALIGA’s president, Óscar Mayo, LALIGA’s Executive Director and Javier Gómez, LALIGA’s Corporate Director and with Juan Fuentes, Delegate of LALIGA to the Nordic countries as corporate author.

The release of the LALIGA case study adds to Harvard Business School’s legacy of producing impactful research and educational material for business leaders, academics, and students worldwide. The research, done between August 2022 and July 2023, is also available to the public for consultation and can be accessed through this link.


LALIGA is the largest football ecosystem in the world. It is a private sports association, made up of 20 football clubs/SADs in LALIGA EA SPORTS and 22 in LALIGA HYPERMOTION, and is responsible for the organization of professional and national football competitions. It has over 200 million followers on social networks globally, across 16 platforms and in 20 different languages; and has the most extensive international network of any sports property, through which it is present in 41 countries and 11 offices, with headquarters in Madrid (Spain). The association is socially active through its Foundation and is the first professional football league in the world with a competition for players with intellectual disabilities: LALIGA Genuine.

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