With their matches suspended due to coronavirus, Leganes, Manchester City and Southampton entertained fans on social media.
The Premier League and LaLiga are both suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic, but Manchester City, Southampton and Leganes provided some entertainment on Saturday.
All matches in Europe’s major leagues – along with a plethora of events across other sports – have been postponed indefinitely or cancelled as governments attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19.
In the absence of games, however, three clubs in particular got creative with their attempts to amuse their fans.
First, LaLiga side Leganes, in a bid to help keep people in their homes as Spain continues to be on lockdown, posted live updates of a fictitious match against Real Valladolid, who they were originally due to host this weekend.
Gracias a todos por seguir y participar en la transmisión del #LeganésRealValladolid, mucha fuerza en estos momentos y que nunca nos falte el sentido del humor. #QuédateEnCasa #JuntosPodemos pic.twitter.com/GixcS3NfcY
— C.D. Leganés (@CDLeganes) March 14, 2020
Complete with a stoppage for a VAR check, match commentary and even a post-match news conference, the imaginary encounter finished 2-1 to Leganes, with Oscar Rodriguez and Guido Carrillo scoring for the home side and Enes Unal netting one for Valladolid.
“Thank you all for following and participating in the transmission of the Leganes v Real Valladolid,” a final post read. “[We need a] lot of strength right now and we never lack a sense of humour.”
Perhaps inspired by their Spanish counterparts, Southampton attempted to get Norwich City – their scheduled Premier League opponents – involved in an online game of noughts and crosses.
We might as well have a game of something! Your move… pic.twitter.com/QPTYqkSy3U
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) March 14, 2020
However, Norwich did not respond to Southampton’s initial move, with the Saints posting at half-time: “In truth, only one team making any effort to play here, but we’re still waiting for the first real breakthrough.”
Manchester City volunteered to take over, though, and the game finished level, prompting Southampton to appeal to the Premier League for a point.
An intriguing tactical battle comes to an end.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) March 14, 2020
It remains to be seen when the leagues will be able to recommence in more traditional fashion or if the season will be able to be completed at all.
While UEFA’s 55 member nations will meet via a video conference on Tuesday, with the status of the Champions League, Europa League and Euro 2020 up for discussion, the Premier League has called an emergency meeting for Thursday after suspending all matches until April 3.
Laliga Joins Spanish Government To Promote The Return Of Tourism To Spain
The Spanish government, the Spanish Football Association, LaLiga and the Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain (CEOE) have come together in a bid to boost and promote Spain as a safe destination for tourism and sport.
The campaign dubbed, “Safe Sport, Safe Tourism #SpainAwaitsYou” is being promoted through LaLiga’s international match broadcasts.
The “Safe Sport, Safe Tourism” campaign, with the #SpainAwaitsYou hashtag, was unveiled at LaLiga headquarters, in the presence of Isabel Oliver, the Secretary of State for Tourism; Irene Lozano, CSD president; Javier Tebas, LaLiga President; Antonio Garamendi, CEOE President; Manuel Muñiz, the Secretary of State for Global Spain; and Faustino Blanco, the General Secretary of the Ministry of Health Bringing together the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport (via the Spanish High Council for Sport), the Ministry of Health, the CEOE and LaLiga, the initiative has been created to boost the tourism and sports industries in Spain, which are both so central to the economy and have suffered over the last few months during the COVID-19 pandemic.
LaLiga is very aware of the opportunity and responsibility that it has as a global entertainment platform, which is why it will be fully supporting this initiative, whose visibility will be boosted further by a specially created logo.
LaLiga is giving global visibility to the campaign through a logo that is seen during the competition’s international broadcasts, as well as through creative pieces and posts on its social media networks (on which it has over 100 million followers), region-specific virtual perimeter advertising boards, on the virtualized stands of LaLiga matches and digital marketing strategies, among other initiatives.
LaLiga President Tebas said, “I am immensely proud that professional football can keep helping boost Spain’s visibility beyond our borders and help the country’s economy. Football and LaLiga play a key role in promoting Spain all over the world, which is why it’s so important for us to be part of this project now.
At LaLiga, we’re going to do everything in our power for Spain to come out of this situation as quickly as possible.”
On his part, CSD president Lozano said,
“time to savour the restart.
A safe return has been outlined, in accordance with a protocol that will allow the competition to start up again successfully. Everyone should know about the effort that we have put in. We know that there’s no such thing as a zero risk but all of us, with our footballers leading the way, are giving our absolute best and acting responsibly and sensibly to ensure everything goes well.”
“Spain is ready to safely welcome international tourists from 1st July. We have thoroughly prepared to ensure we guarantee the highest safety standards across our whole tourism industry by rolling out over 20 uniform protocols for the entire country. We want tourists to feel confident and we are sending out a very clear message that will be amplified by this campaign: Spain is waiting for you,” Oliver, the Secretary of State for Tourism said.
By Etienne Mainimo
CA Osasuna, CF Fuenlabrada Assisting Local Groups During Pandemic De-Escalation
Two Spanish clubs, CA Osasuna and CF Fuenlabrada have step in with support aimed at reviving the local economy with new social campaigns that aim to help their local communities make a difference.
Across Spain, de-escalation from the COVID-19 pandemic has begun, with social and business activities starting to resume under careful health restrictions. But while thigs are going back to normals, significant levels of support are needed and football clubs have a key role to play.
According to Laliga newsletter, CA Osasuna and CF Fuenlabrada, are addressing this need with new social campaigns that aim to help their local communities, using their significant profile to make a difference.
The 42 clubs of LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank have all contributed to fighting the pandemic in the form of financial donations, offering physical resources to health services, sharing messages of support, providing entertaining content to fans and much more.
Going by the Director of Communication at CF Fuenlabrada, Álvaro de la Rosa “It’s a time of great uncertainty for these companies. To survive these recent weeks, many companies have reinvented themselves but did not have a way for people to know that they were operating despite the pandemic.”
“For example, we heard from one company that made bullfighter costumes. Given the situation, its production turned to making facemasks. But not even their clients were clear if they were open,” he said.
He added that, “The services sector and small businesses have the highest economic risks after this health crisis. We have received more than 60 requests, a very high number considering that the campaign was focused on the local area and not many businesses have been active.”
“Football can help people a lot and now is when they need us most. We owe a debt to our fans after all the support they have given us. We cannot fail them,” he said.
On the side of CA Osasuna has decided to support this initiative by creating 5,000 personalised facemasks bearing the colours, crest of the club, and delivered to local people with the greatest need.
According to information, the masks will be delivered to all club members over the age of 65, as well as the staff and residents of the San Jerónimo Estella residence and to Solera Asistencial, a collection of residences and occupational services for the elderly with which the club collaborates regularly. Delivery of the masks has been made mostly by post, accompanied by a letter in which the club conveys support to its older fans.
“Osasuna is a club that belongs to its members and we must be close to them, even more so in difficult situations. We wanted to help elderly fans to the best of our abilities, because they are the ones who are being punished most aggressively by this pandemic,” the said club President Luis Sabalza. “
By Etienne Mainimo
Atletico Club Targets New Audience In Tiktok
Spanish football Club, Atletico Club has become the latest LaLiga club signed in for TikTok, currently the world’s fastest-growing social network app.
The club hopes to hope to increase new audience and in a short space of time, its efforts are being rewarded.
The Basque club hopes to reach younger fans and continue international growth via the short-form video platform. Atletico Club is hoping to reinforce the need to stay active on social media and stay close to their fans during this pandemic period.
TikTok is currently the world’s fastest-growing social network with over 2 billion downloads. With a highly engaged and young user-base, football clubs have a clear opportunity to reach new audiences by establishing a presence on the platform.
The rapid growth of TikTok and the fact that it is so popular with younger people caught Athletic Club’s attention. “As part of the progressive modernization of our digital profiles we were clear that joining TikTok was something we should do,” the club explained.
This change in content style is reflective of Athletic Club’s ambition to reach a new profile of user that may not be accessible elsewhere. The club explained: “We’re looking to find the younger supporters of Athletic Club who maybe aren’t on other social networks, and we’re also keen for users who aren’t yet supporters to know more about the club. It’s possible on TikTok to reach a younger audience, the kind of users who are more difficult to reach through our other profiles.”
Over 20 Spanish clubs have also joined the TikTok platform in recent months, many assisted by LaLiga, which has had an official profile for over a year. Athletic Club is joining fellow LaLiga Santander clubs Atlético de Madrid, CA Osasuna, Leganés CF, FC Barcelona, Getafe CF, Levante UD, Celta de Vigo, RCD Espanyol de Barcelona, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, SD Eibar, Sevilla FC and Valencia CF, as well as LaLiga SmartBank sides AD Alcorcón, Cádiz CF, Mirandés, Elche, CF Fuenlabrada, Girona FC, Racing Santander and Real Zaragoza.
LaLiga’s official TikTok account has over 1.3 million followers and was one of the first football-related accounts set up on the site. To deepen its relationship with the platform, the league established a unique partnership by agreeing for Douyin to become ‘LaLiga Official Social Media Partner’ in China.
This, going by reports makes LaLiga the first league in the world to sign such a deal with Douyin, which will help LaLiga and its clubs to take another step forward in their internationalization strategies.
By Etienne Mainimo
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