Photo credit: Goal
In terms of quality, there is little doubt that La Liga is the best league in the world; they have the best teams and the best players.
Spanish clubs have won fourteen out of the last fifteen European titles and better yet, La Liga has produced every Ballon d’or winner since 2009.
However, many would argue that La Liga has not reached the success or popularity of the Premier League - especially in Asia.
In recent years, La Liga has been steadily working to expand their audience in the region, with football-mad Hong Kong being one of the targeted territories.
According to Eduard Castell, La Liga’s Hong Kong delegate, their hard work has paid off - “La Liga is very popular not only in Hong Kong but in the whole world. La Liga fans in Hong Kong has grown a lot in the last years”.
There is a tangible feel to La Liga’s influence. Indeed, they are the only football league with a physical presence in Hong Kong, nonetheless, their expertly crafted campaigns and initiatives have helped engage them with fans in Hong Kong.
Through La Liga Experience, the organisation invited local enthusiasts and influencers like Tat Gor to attend live matches in Spain.
Photo credit: Atlético de Madrid Supporters Club Hong Kong
Within Hong Kong itself, La Liga has been pushing hard to help contribute to the local community; both in football and business. They recently held a football tournament that took place in Happy Valley and regularly holds watch parties for keen fans.
Improving Hong Kong’s grassroots level football has also been one of La Liga’s goals, with initiatives helping local players travel to Malaga to train and play friendly games during Easter last year.
Perhaps the biggest sign of La Liga’s commitment towards expanding their viewership was when they decided to have earlier kick-off times - a move explicitly made to increase their appeal to the Asian market.
Most notably, one of last season’s El Clasicos was controversially scheduled to start at 1 pm amid criticism.
Despite all the strides La Liga has made; they're still playing catchup with the Premier League. But given their commitment and the fact that a league’s popularity sways every decade or so - that may very well change in the near future.
Information provided by Eduard Castell, La Liga's Hong Kong delegate.