Football

Spanish club Real Betis launches football schools in Zimbabwe

Story Highlights
  • From Harare, the club plans to launch a series of new initiatives in the African country to extend the Betis brand in Africa. Initially, it will provide hundreds of young people with an elite football education programme.

SPANISH football club Real Betis will this January launch the first Betis football school on the African continent in Harare. The club says the objective is not just to develop new playing talents but to provide access to good education and fight against marginalization and social exclusion in different parts of the world. 

From Harare, the club plans to launch a series of new initiatives in the African country to extend the Betis brand in Africa. Initially, it will provide hundreds of young people with an elite football education programme.

“Real Betis is attracting greater interest from outside of Spain and this contributes to expanding our brand through football,” explained Ramon Alarcon, general business director of the club.

“We want to transmit our values, our colours, our ways of working, everything that represents Betis, into a methodology with which all of our youth teams work.”

Already, more than 1000 boys and girls outside of Spain have had the chance to train under the club’s methodology. At the same time, by arriving in new countries and setting up such projects, the club is in a better position to develop commercial activities in these markets and expand its brand.

“The idea is to convey the footballing style of the club and the values that characterise us, such as unwavering faith, the ability to overcome, knowing how to stand up in the worst moments and the connection with people,” Alarcon noted.

Alarcon added that promoting this type of project carries significant weight from a sporting and social point of view.

“In this exceptional situation, agreements like this make us especially excited and fill us with optimism, since they show us that both the club and its partners around the world work so that young people can enjoy football,” he argued.

“Within our international expansion plan, we know there are different levels of action required depending on the country we’re in,” Alarcon continued. “There are markets where player training and education is more important, such as China, Africa and Southeast Asian. However, in the United States and Mexico, the sporting projects focus more on brand expansion.”

The club chooses the markets to enter based on carefully established criteria.

“First of all we consider the growth that LaLiga has had in that territory, as we are going to work side by side with the competition,” said Alarcon.

“Another very important characteristic is the audience and the number of followers that we have through our social media platforms,” he continued. “The players also play a relevant role, whether a current member of our squad or not, because they give us added local impact.”

The role of international players has been particularly important in Mexico, a country where Betis has seen strong growth in recent years.

“Mexico is the country with the most LaLiga followers outside of Spain and at the same time it is a country where we have a lot of followers thanks to having two Mexican players (Andres Guardado and Diego Lainez) in the squad,” Alarcon explained.

The club has detected an increase in the number of followers in the territories where it has developed its sports projects, while also attracting local commercial interest. This is aided by a spike in media coverage at a local level, which brings significant brand visibility to the club.

Real Betis is therefore focused on continuing the growth of its football schools with the ambition of being able to reach as many young people as possible in new territories. 

“We want to continue working, advancing and growing with the idea of incorporating new academies,” concluded Alarcon. “At the same time, we are looking to incorporate new local partners that allow us to continue growing in all lines of action.”

This article originally appeared in LaLiga’s Global Futbol newsletter.  

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