By David Tomas, on 19 July 2023
Kings League is a 7-a-side soccer competition that has become a global phenomenon. The 2023 final drew over 2 million simultaneous viewers, and hundreds of thousands of people watched all the matches that preceded it. What are the keys to its success? What marketing strategy was implemented? Here are some digital marketing insights you can apply at your company.
What Is Kings League?
Kings League was created by former footballer, Gerard Piqué, and streamer Ibai Llanos. It is an interactive soccer competition that is broadcast live on Twitch. Unlike regular soccer, the time of the matches has been shortened to 40 minutes instead of 90, unlimited substitutions, and extra time works differently. The league is made up of 12 teams captained by streamers and former players. The teams compete in a series of tournaments throughout the season, with the final tournament winner crowned Kings League Champion.
The Kings League takes place in Barcelona, and the official Twitter account is where the dates of all the tournaments are updated.
What Is the Origin of Kings League?
In 2022, Piqué retired from professional soccer but didn’t leave the field of play altogether. Months after his retirement, he met with Llanos and discussed the idea of creating a new type of soccer competition. They wanted to create a competition that was more entertaining and engaging for the fans, and they wanted to give players who were not professionals a chance to compete at a high level. The Kings League officially launched on January 1, 2023.
What Can You Learn From the Kings League’s Marketing Strategy?
Kings League has achieved great success in terms of audience and continues to break records. It has even surpassed the average number of views of almost all La Liga matches.
This new concept of soccer as a spectacle has revolutionized not only the game's traditional rules but also communications. Big brands like Grefusa, Infojobs, Adidas, Spotify, and Mahou have joined as sponsors and are experiencing a great return on investment. But what have they done to achieve so much success in their marketing strategy?
Kings League is broadcast on Twitch, YouTube, and TikTok. This diversification of channels allows the league to reach a much larger audience. In the past, there was really one main way to watch a soccer match: on television. However, Kings League has appealed to a younger audience that is more likely to consume content online. The league's audience is mainly digital and made up of people who prefer to watch content on social media and the internet.
Beyond the Sport
One of the most important keys to the success of Kings League has been its mix of soccer and entertainment. This league is not just about broadcasting a soccer match. It also offers a large amount of extra content that makes the match more dynamic and engaging.
This can be helpful for marketing in a few ways. First, it shows that the league is not just trying to sell a product or service and this can help build customer relationships and create a more positive brand image. Second, adding extra content can make marketing more engaging. This can be done by giving advice to the audience, showing behind-the-scenes footage or by creating other entertaining, informative content.
The Perfect Influencer Marketing Strategy
The organizers of Kings League have mastered the art of influencer marketing. As mentioned, the presidents of Kings League are former footballers, but they are also streamers. These public figures such as Ibai Llanos or TheGrefg, have millions of followers.
By partnering with influencers, Kings League has been able to reach a wider audience. They have also been able to connect with younger viewers who are more likely to watch content on streaming platforms.
In addition, Kings League has been able to reach people who are not typically interested in soccer. This is because the league features influencers from a variety of different backgrounds. If you are not a big soccer fan, you can still enjoy watching your favorite content creators compete in the Kings League.
The use of influencer marketing has been so successful that it has helped the league challenge and catch up with traditional soccer in terms of audiences.
Everything Is Streamed Free-to-Air
Kings League shares all of its content, including matches and behind-the-scenes footage, for free on streaming platforms. In addition, many posts and clips from the broadcasts are shared on social networks. This makes the league accessible to a wide audience and helps keep the competition in viewers' minds.
You can apply this strategy to your business by creating and sharing content on your website, social media, and other channels. This could include blog posts, videos, etc. The key is constantly giving your audience daily information about your product to boost brand awareness.
Transparency Is Key
Another key to Kings League's success is its transparency. The league broadcasts everything that happens, from the matches themselves to the player’s interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. This builds viewers' trust and helps them feel like they are part of the competition.
You can also build trust with your customers by being transparent about your business practices. This could include sharing information about how the business works and what your products or services are really like. By being open and honest with customers, you can show them you are a trustworthy company that they can rely on.
Creating Community or Crowdsourcing
Kings League has created a large community of people who follow it and are loyal to its broadcasts. This is mainly due to two reasons:
- The league involves the public in many decisions. For example, the community has voted on part of the competition rules. This means the audience is not a mere spectator but an active participant and that their decisions matter when building the product.
You can implement this by creating surveys on social media or by email. Surveys are a great way to get feedback from your customers and make them feel they are part of the brand's direction.
- The league’s teams are made up of ordinary people who applied in an open process. This made the public identify with the players and therefore more likely to watch. In addition, many viewers may also hope that they could be part of the competition in the future.
You could adapt this by communicating with customers about their experience with your products or services, bringing your audience closer and opening the door for them to comment and share their experience with your brand.
Kings League has been able to bring the fast-paced, addictive dynamics of online gaming to streaming. This has made their content more engaging and kept viewers coming back for more. The constant action and suspense release dopamine in the viewer's brain, which reinforces the desire to watch.
As you can see, many marketing actions have made Kings League stand out. This phenomenon will likely continue to evolve and teach us how to implement more efficient marketing strategies. It may even include disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, NFTs, or Blockchain. However, one thing is clear: Kings League is a living example of how to adapt competition to today's audiences.