Past champions play, the matches are streamed, it reaches everyone, the testimonials who take the field have millions of Followers: nowadays, the format par excellence.
The Kings League conceived by Gerard Piquet (former Barcelona FC star) is the League of the Revolution, but let’s start with an assumption: while it is innovative, it will never replace the classic leagues that are played. It is an innovative and different league, adding to the many entertainment possibilities that can be found. But what is the Kings League? It is a ‘7-a-side football’ tournament in which former footballers (Ronaldinho, among others, has also participated) and influencers take to the field, playing 40-minute challenges (2 halves of 20) in which ‘unexpected’ cards can be used to influence the course of the matches. The result? Millions of followers on social channels, the ability to reach a transversal audience, and a final played in front of more than 92,000 people at the Camp Nou in Barcelona. The Kings League is not ‘football’, but in terms of entertainment and audience engagement it is a format that certainly works. And it will work again from here on.
THE KINGS LEAGUE PARTNERS
InfoJobs and Cupra are the two companies that immediately believed in the development of Piquet’s idea. While Cupra’s logo was clearly visible in the circle of the ‘Cupra Arena’ where the qualifying matches were played (all of which were broadcast live via streaming), InfoJobs even played an active role in recruiting players and was the ‘Jersey Sponsor’ of all the teams that took part. The 120 players that took to the pitch were chosen from over 13,000 who sent in their CVs and registered on the job search agency’s platform…
XiaoMi was then present on the back of the jersey (below the number) and each team had the option of adding new sponsors, placing them on the sleeves of the uniforms. In general, according to some estimates, some league sponsors have gone as far as shelling out figures of close to one million euros, and rumour has it that, in order to put your brand name on Kings League, you can’t go below five ‘zeros’.
WHY DOES THE KINGS LEAGUE WORK?
Because it is a show, it is pure entertainment, and because it is something ‘different’. The more ‘dated’ are curious to see champions who until a few years ago played in the Champions League at work, the younger ones to see how their favourite influencers fare on a football pitch.
What’s more, it can be streamed, free of charge, and in this day and age that makes all the difference. In ChainOn and StageUp”s ‘2022 Predictive Survey: The Future of Sponsorship – Changing to Endure’, it is pointed out that in the pandemic period there has been a clear revolution that will inevitably have repercussions for the future: while in 2019 digital events had been 6.1% of the total, in 2020 they grew (due to obvious circumstances) to 51.9%, before declining to 41.3% in 2021. Even assuming that this number will drop due to the possibility of live events after the pandemic crisis, the trend has inevitably changed and many organisations plan live streaming to market and publicise their event.
Add to this the essential role of the influencers involved: according to the on the ‘2022 Predictive Survey: “The Future of Sponsorship – Changing to Endure” the market in the sports world is constantly growing and influencers play a key role: at a time of advertising overload, sport is a resource for conveying real emotions, those conveyed by the very people who take the field in the Kings League. These testimonials accelerate sales, and the estimate is that a successful testimonial predicts a 4% growth in sales, because it speaks directly.
Probably (indeed, definitely) events of this kind can never replace ‘real’ football competitions, but we are facing a significant innovation. On the one hand, a lot of young people find themselves in a single ‘container’ of the influencers they follow on social media, playing their favourite sport: in short, apotheosis. On the other hand, entrepreneurs are faced with new investment possibilities, in a field unthinkable until recently and reaching a new segment of the public.
All photos in the article are taken from the web.