LaLiga signs Upstream for sub-Saharan Africa mobile rollout

Spain’s top flight soccer competition LaLiga has unveiled an exclusive partnership with tech company Upstream that will to bring online portal LaLiga Premium to mobile phone users in sub-Saharan Africa.

The partnership will allow mobile network operators in the region to tap into the growing popularity of LaLiga across Africa; and to create new revenue streams by providing subscribers with access to exclusive content and features.

According to the partners, LaLiga Premium users will have access to match highlights, live match commentary, podcasts, news, in-game stats, player profiles and games. Available in multiple languages, the partnership covers content from both LaLiga Santander and LaLiga Smartbank, the first and second professional divisions of Spanish football.

Marcos Pelegrin, LaLiga’s Africa managing director, said: “The African audience is the fastest growing for LaLiga. People on the continent have a great passion for football and for years we have been doing our best to bring our leagues closer to them. With LaLiga Premium we are bringing the stars of our leagues right into the palms of the hands of fans.”

Chrysa Karamanidi, Upstream chief innovation officer, added: “For mobile operators, LaLiga Premium is a fantastic opportunity to expand digital services, increase revenues, and deliver an in-demand service to their subscribers. Our know-how in delivering customer acquisitions for digital services guarantees the portal’s success.”

The app operates as a freemium portal at first. This allows mobile subscribers to view and access certain content, which can then be upgraded to the premium service and added to the users’ monthly mobile bill. Upstream’s mobile marketing platform Grow supports MNOs with customer acquisition for LaLiga Premium via its ability to optimise customer journeys.

According to mobile network association GSMA, there are over 500 million unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa, expected to exceed 600 million by 2025. 60% are estimated to be smartphone connections, with 3G, 4G and 5G penetration on the rise.

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