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Jamk University of Applied Sciences and LALIGA work together to familiarize Finnish sport management students with LALIGA and teach them how LALIGA tries to develop the industry on a global level. The students get introduced to LALIGA practitioners and their job is to gain an understanding of the organization and how it operates.
"In addition, the students are given group exercises that replicate real-life cases of LALIGA. They get to create solutions to practical cases like planning events and marketing campaigns, which they then present to us", says Juan Fuentes Fernández.
Students have given good feedback about the cooperation but LALIGA gets also a variety of new ideas on how to further develop LALIGA, especially in the Nordic countries.
"It is really interesting to be in touch with students from different regions. I live in Copenhagen, but Finland is a different country with different features, and these meetings and cases provide lots of juicy insights", says Juan.

It is important for the LALIGA clubs to grow not only on the pitch but also off the pitch.
""With these kinds of collaborations, it grows both ways because you are developing corporate relations, but also if you are bringing in knowledge, solutions, and know-how about this region, it will benefit LALIGA and its clubs", says Juan.

LALIGA’s goal is for Spanish football to grow in Spain and globally, and the case projects with students have turned out to be a great success. 
"They recently organized an engagement activity for Finnish LALIGA fans. They planned and implemented an event in a pub in Jyväskylä around a LALIGA match, Real Madrid vs Valladolid. Before the event, they launched a marketing campaign to bring people in and almost 100 people participated", he explains. 

La Liga organisation

Scheme of LALIGA. LALIGA is a huge organisation reaching globally almost 3 billion spectators. 

LALIGA Innovation League creates opportunities for sports-related start-ups

The LALIGA Innovation League in Copenhagen was organised at the beginning of this year. The idea of Innovation League was to create connections and synergies between the startups and the LALIGA clubs. The event was organized in cooperation with the Danish Olympic Committee. Five LALIGA clubs attended live and more than 20 club representatives attended via online stream.
"First, these clubs introduced how they work with innovation and startups, and then the eleven startups were chosen to pitch their products and services to the LALIGA teams", explains Juan.

"The event was beneficial for LALIGA, and it will be replicated in other countries. The eleven startups were mostly focused on performance, which we chose as our main theme because in LALIGA performance matters now more than ever: the teams want to maximize their ability and potential, and they want to continuously grow to be able to deliver better performance", sums up Juan.

What would need to happen to arrange a similar event in Jyväskylä?
"This is one of the things I discussed while visiting Jyväskylä. Business Jyväskylä is just the right partner who knows the startup ecosystem in the region and we have discussed the possibility to celebrate this event in Jyväskylä in the upcoming months", celebrates Juan. 

"The more the LALIGA clubs have opportunities to collaborate and find synergies with organizations and people from the Nordics, especially from countries like Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden, the better. There has already been established an innovation agreement between Jyväskylä and Athletic Club from LALIGA", says Juan. 

Juan also has a personal connection to the city as a private angel investor, as he decided to invest in Jyväskylä-based Psyon Games, a growing health game developer.

This interview was made by our intern Petteri Itäranta with the aim to collect the whole picture of the football-related collaboration done between Jyväskylä, Athletic Club and the Spanish LALIGA. All articles were collected for a football-related ecosystem newsletter in collaboration with the University of Jyväskylä.