Visit Saudi is announced as LaLiga’s new global sponsor… despite the division’s president previously arguing the nation was using sport to ‘whitewash their image’
- President Javier Tebas has been vocal about Saudi Arabia’s role in sport
- LaLiga said partnership will showcase Saudi Arabia as ‘most exciting destination’
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LaLiga have confirmed Visit Saudi as the league’s new global sponsor in a sensational U-turn from the division’s president.
Saudi Arabia have taken sport by storm in recent years, investing large sums of money into events such as boxing, golf and football.
The invasion into football has been fairly recent, with several clubs in the Saudi Pro League receiving huge cash injections to help persuade big names in the game to join the apparent revolution.
The nation is now dipping its toes into European football, with the mega-partnership with LaLiga confirmed on Friday.
That is, however, in spite of president Javier Tebas previously claiming Saudi Arabia was using sport ‘to whitewash their image’.
LaLiga have announce Visit Saudi as their new global sponsor after a sensational U-turn
President Javier Tebas had previously claimed Saudi Arabia were using sport ‘to whitewash their image’
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‘The Saudi Arabian government has a policy whereby they improve the image of the government through sport, whitewashing their images and we have a responsibility there,’ Tebas said in 2021.
‘One thing is to sell out broadcasting rights and the other thing is to go to that country where there are issues around human rights. We should not forget what happened in the Turkish embassy 18 months ago with another journalist.
‘This happened in an embassy, not a bar, and this is very serious, at least in my opinion. Money is not the only thing that matters.
‘The idea of having a game there was very unfortunate because of the human rights issue and also what happened in that embassy.
‘Building a railway in Riyadh will not impact human rights but we are talking about whitewashing the image of a country. The money they paid for the Super Cup I’m sure they must have lost money.’
The deal is said to be aimed at showcasing Saudi Arabia, as ‘the most exciting, year-round destination’
Via laliga.com, the partnership has the aim of showcasing Saudi Arabia, as ‘the most exciting, year-round destination’.
On the partnership, former Real Madrid and Spain captain and LaLiga ambassador Iker Casillas said: ‘The great development of sport and sporting events in Saudi Arabia represents a real boost to the attractiveness of the destination, adding to its cultural interest and amazing landscapes.
‘We are sure that this new partnership will be a success in connecting and attracting both football and sports fans in general, as well as new followers.’
The reports also states that ‘this exciting venture will be developed through innovative partnerships, insightful collaborations, impactful sponsorship arrangements, premium digital content, and immersive consumer events designed to maximize audience engagement.’
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