Every sports fan loves a derby. 

But when the biggest derby in the world features players from your club or national team, you sit up and watch.

In October 2020, Sergiño Dest became the first American soccer player to take part in El Clasico, the fiercely contested match between Barcelona and Real Madrid. 

Dest was part of a generation of United States Men’s National Soccer Team players staking their claim to starting spots in Europe’s top clubs. 

As time’s gone on, the flame ignited between the U.S. and LaLiga begins to burn brighter.

FC Barcelona and Real Madrid rank third and forth among America’s favourite teams. Outside of international competitions, LaLiga sits second for most watched foreign soccer leagues too. So it’s safe to say there’s a healthy appetite for Spanish soccer across the pond. 

Using both GWI Core and GWI USA data sets, we showcase Spanish soccer’s opportunity in the U.S. by putting the American LaLiga fan under the spotlight.

To capture their hearts, look local.

A campaign launched in 2019, named Project North America, aimed to feature regular LaLiga matches for a total of 15 years. And although this tactic led to fandom, it received a mixed reception because the real-world exposure was limited to pre-season.

The project was begging for a more targeted approach.

By focusing on specific regions, clubs can approach their core markets with purpose. 

No two LaLiga fans are alike, which is why segmentation plays a key role in giving an enhanced and refined brand experience moving forward.

If you can grasp how they’re feeling, you can tap into what really drives them. Add in their lifestyles, purchase intentions, and what they think about brands, and you can make better calls on your commercial partners. 

With all these ingredients, you’ll end up with a holistic audience profiling approach, leading to new revenue streams, and ultimately – a shot at the American dream.

To get you started, here’s a quick summary of what to know about LaLiga fans right now.

They’re avid gamers

LaLiga fans in the U.S., defined in our platform as internet users who express an interest in the league or regularly watch it on TV or online, aren’t just about soccer. 

Their interests span into other sectors, giving rise to new partnerships, advertising placement and product ranges. 

Let’s start with their passion for gaming.


Just over a third of LaLiga fans in the U.S. are interested in esports. 

They’re averaging over twof hours a day on games consoles, providing a window to drive fan engagement. Their go-to genres are action-adventure, shooters and sports – something to bear in mind when choosing your next partner. 

The main motivation for gaming is to connect with friends – making it an important passtime in periods of lowered social contact. Twitch and YouTube Gaming are regular reference points too, with LaLiga fans more than twice as likely as the average American to share personal footage online. 

Beyond the console

But it’s not all about console gaming. 

Apps present a great opportunity for engagement through entertainment, so clubs should look to enhance their digital experiences. Soccer has become more than gameday and clubs now have to act as media houses moving forward.

Creating these in partnership with sponsors can be seen as a creative step in the purchase journey – 21% of these fans have played a branded game in the last month and they’re over twice as likely to purchase a product to gain access to the community around it. 

They’re tech-savvy.

Partnering with a business tech supplier is standard practice for clubs, with Man City and Cisco coming to mind. 

New tech purchases

They’re two and a half times more likely than the average American to buy new tech products immediately. 

They’re more than willing to buy products when prices are at their highest.

They believe digital plays a big role in improving their overall health and wellbeing too, so clubs should opt for a brand with a relevant product line and similar ethos to encourage them to buy premium products.

Mobile usage and tech

Mobile remains their staple device, but a new smartwatch is at the top of the wish list. 

They’re no strangers to using tech to enhance their everyday lives. For example many track their calorie consumption and they’re 92% more likely to search for online videos to help whip up meals. 

Now is the time to utilize players to help their fitness journey – sharing tips in the kitchen and tricks in the gym through video will immerse LaLiga fans in the soccer player lifestyle. 

When compared to the average American, they’re around 3 times more likely to have posted opinions about technology products online in the last month. This plays a big part in their decision-making too, often using independent reviews as a reference. 

We already mentioned the importance of community in gaming, so developing fan forums with a partner-led agenda can ignite brand discussions and provide a platform for social interaction. 

They’re fashionistas

American LaLiga fans are into fashion, and it plays a big role in their lives. 

They aim to stand out from the crowd, and their clothing helps them achieve this. Finding exclusive products and designer labels is a must, with Gucci already sitting in a quarter of their wardrobes. 

This audience is 35% more likely to want brands to be trendy, which should encourage clubs to be more inventive when it comes to merchandise.

To jump on this trend, clubs will want to know how and where fans are searching for (and buying) new products. 

We already know they’re techies, so it fits that apps are their go-to sources of product research. Clubs can look to build on their consumer contact by using them as virtual showrooms. 

Introduce a splash of customizability and a touch of AI, and you’ll be in favour. 

The opportunity is vast

Fortunately for clubs, LaLiga fans in America have a wide set of interests that run very deep. 

This means they can diversify their message, enhance revenue streams, and tailor product ranges safe in the knowledge it will have a powerful effect.

Whilst the above gives you a flavor of what this group (on the whole) is interested in, we have to stress the importance of localized marketing here. 

Creating a truly customized experience for your specific fan group will have an even bigger impact, and it’ll save bundles of cash in the long run. 

The trick is investing in getting to know your fans – something you can do with the right insights.

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