While Spanish Football stays at home and administrators for the Spanish Football Federation, La Liga and individual clubs, plus many players, debate when and if to return to play, the league itself has successfully turned to a series of outreach programs that have kept fans involved with the sport over the past many weeks.
The La Liga Stay At Home program is a weekly television show which airs players filming themselves at home, showing fans how they eat and stay fit and keep entertained, all while sharing the StaySafe/StayHome message.
The La Liga Nations television show provides ten weekly episodes focused on the various nationalities of the players who have graced Spanish stadiums on the rosters of La Liga teams. Fans get to see the contributions of players from South America and other European nations, for example, while also learning a bit about the players’ homeland and their experiences not staying at home but moving to Spain.
The La Liga Clubs, a concept MLS should take notice of, provides a biweekly television program that showcases the connection between league clubs and their cities and fans. This show, a bit heavy on the ties-that-bind theme, nevertheless provides vivid detail about the significance of club to town and the importance of fans “belonging” to a club. A nice touch would have been to also consistently showcase the stay at home theme of each community–letting neighbors and international viewers alike know how the towns are coping without football. Staying at home is not easy and the more we share how it can be handleable the better.
Ensuring that the shows are seen globally, La Liga has endeavored to provide their international broadcasters with these programs free of charge, serving as substitute content in an attempt to make up for the loss of game broadcasts. The 24-hour La Liga TV, available in many international markets via the league’s broadcasting ties with programming providers, will be airing all of these offerings around the clock.
Meanwhile, because of the financial blow, the pandemic is delivering to the game and in particular, to Spanish Football, there have been many ideas floated about play resuming over the summer in order to complete both domestic and international competitions. Given the needed coordination on the latter matches it will be difficult to see how an overall European resumption might take place, but don’t be surprised if on the Iberian peninsula the likes of Lionel Messi and Casemiro, Angel Correa and Diego Carlos begin to grace your television screens in a few months.