ESSMA on tour: an interview with LaLiga from Spain
With more than 20 federations and leagues in their network, ESSMA has a lot of valuable members who bring insights and info on clubs and club operations in different European countries. ESSMA is in close contact with these members and also provides regular contact to keep abreast of the latest updates, important trends and challenges. A few weeks ago, ESSMA went to visit LaLiga, managing the top two tiers of Spanish professional club football, in their offices in Barcelona. We had a conversation with Milos Nenadovic, Club Infrastructure Consultant at LaLiga. We are happy to share some interesting questions we asked him.
What is the biggest challenge for Spanish clubs at the moment?
“One of the main challenges is staffing. Not all Spanish clubs have enough human resources dedicated to commercial and strategic matters (aside from the traditional powerhouse clubs). This has started to change, as all clubs have been signing more and more dedicated professionals for all sorts of business roles in no small part thanks to the LaLiga Impulso project, and we have seen that there is a correlation between investing in human resources (on the business side) and the ability to reach a club’s economic potential. This is why it is important that LaLiga can support them in various manners (specifically through LaLiga Impulso), also thanks to ESSMA.”
What are important topics for Spanish clubs and LaLiga?
“Like many European clubs I think, our clubs too are looking to increase their non-matchday revenues. It is important to understand that our stadiums need to become entertainment centers for more than just the 20-25 games that the home clubs play in them per year. In many cases, the chief way to maximize the revenue generation of the stadium is to branch out by trying to attract a myriad of different public segments with events that are tailored especially to them. This is also starting to encompass training centers as we’re working with the clubs to create certain commercial strategies for these types of infrastructures. Even though they are primarily seen as sports-focused facilities, there is a need (and demand can be created) for many differing events and experiences, hence creating more revenue streams for the clubs.”
What is the added value for LaLiga to be a member of ESSMA?
“Being part of a European community of clubs and leagues is of great value to our league and the clubs. The fact that ESSMA has a wealth of knowledge on many and varied infrastructure topics that we can access and make use of is particularly important. Additionally, being in contact with colleagues from other leagues and clubs helps us learn and keep innovating how we approach our revenue maximization strategies. We all have a lot to learn from each other, so sharing of best practices is key.”