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What: LaLiga has formed a new partnership to promote soccer development in Malaysia
Why it matters: This deal is mutually beneficial in that LaLiga can expand its reach while Malaysian football can learn from Spain’s success.

Malaysia Matches Up with LaLiga

LaLiga, the association in charge of Spanish soccer’s top division, has stuck a partnership with Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) to create a 50-year plan to grow the sport in this robust Asian nation. Over the three years of the deal, LaLiga will advise the FMLLP, Malaysia’s privatized footballing association, on various ways to create a healthy infrastructure in which football can flourish. For example, LaLiga will help Malaysian clubs get their finances in order, improve social outreach, expand marketing initiatives, and improve day-to-day operations such as security. As FMLLP chairman and Football Association of Malaysia president Tunku Ismail indicated after the signing ceremony, the goal is to put in place a plan that draws upon the experience of a top league like LaLiga and sets guidelines for Malaysian football for subsequent federation heads to follow. Utilizing a proven league as a consulting service seems like a logical step forward for this budding footballing nation, and it would not be surprising to see other countries collaborate in the same manner.

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LaLiga Looking Abroad

For LaLiga, this deal marks a further step in the league’s mission to expand its reach across the globe. Prior to the Malaysia deal, LaLiga struck a similar agreement with Japan’s J-League to exchange information and help each other grow. In addition to pooling together ideas on best practices, it is clear that another principal goal of LaLiga with these moves is to increase brand exposure in new markets. LaLiga president Javier Tebas recognized the value in working with local football officials to reach new markets when he lauded LaLiga’s new ability to understand the Malaysian market as a result of the partnership. Though LaLiga is attempting to tap into passion for soccer in East Asia, its sights are set far beyond just this part of the globe: the league has an office up and running in the United States and has expressed a clear goal of increasing its influence in India. These initiatives show how LaLiga is off to a great start in terms of exploring new markets with growing soccer awareness and economic promise.

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