Kings League: An Audience Phenomenon that Already Competes with Traditional Soccer
With barely two months of existence, the Kings League, founded by Ibai Llanos and Gerard Piqué, is breaking the schemes.
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Felipe Rengifo
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Leer en español: Kings League: un fenómeno de audiencias que ya compite con el fútbol tradicional
Seven players per team, 2 halves of twenty minutes full of adrenaline, there is always a winner. In addition to this, before each game, the captains will be able to choose "secret weapons", these being video game-style power-ups, which allow goals to be worth triple, goalkeepers cannot use their hands or a team plays in a while determined with numerical inferiority. This is how the Kings League works, a mixture of soccer and video games that is a success on social networks and is reaching the levels of viewers of the most important European soccer leagues.
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12 teams for four places in the final round
The league has been taking place every Sunday and will last 11 days, when all the teams will face each other. The four best teams will access the final phase of the tournament that will be held in the last days of March at the Spotify Camp Nou, FC Barcelona's stadium.
Elite players to increase the level of competition
Within the different rosters of the teams there are players who were benchmarks throughout their sports career, such are the cases of Sergio García, champion attacker with Spain in Euro 2008 and who currently plays for "Ultimate Móstoles". Ibai Gómez, historical winger of Athletic Bilbao with whom he won two Spanish Super Cups and was a finalist in the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Europa League, reinforcement of Jijantes FC. Nicolás Pareja, Argentinian central defender, gold medalist with his team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, three-time UEFA Europa League champion with Sevilla FC and now leader of El Barrio FC.
Star guests who have revolutionized the audience
The Kings League has added soccer media stars such as Ronaldinho, Sergio 'Kun' Agüero and Iker Casillas on special dates. Its presence in the games has triggered the audience ratings and even surpassed the averages of the most relevant matches of teams with high media impact in the different leagues in Europe, something that never ceases to surprise due to the short time it has been developing. According to the audience tracker TVTOP Spain on Twitch, YouTube and TikTok, Kings League broadcasts have reached a peak of 1.37 million viewers on matchday 3.
Sponsorships that are the envy of any sport, but that are not reflected in salary
Job boards, sportswear brands, automobiles, technology, alcoholic beverages, banks, snacks, music applications, investors in digital assets, and even organic products, are the large list of sponsors that the Kings League has. Despite the high number of sponsoring firms that join the project, the salaries of the athletes (ex-soccer players, streamers and ordinary people), according to statements by the team owners themselves, is barely 75 euros per game and 100 if they advance at times, something ridiculous compared to what an elite athlete earns.
New categories and greater diversity of the project
The Queens League will be the next category that this sports franchise will exploit, it will have the same format as the Kings League, but it will be for women over 16 years of age. This would start in the month of May and would be played on Saturdays so as not to interfere with the male format and conquer another audience segment.
The third category that has been budgeted for would be the Prince Cup, a format for children aged 10 and 11, although it is contemplated that other ages become involved. The smallest ones would play two tournaments a year in the months of August and December and would play their games from Thursday to Sunday.
The leap beyond borders
The Kings League plans to leave Spain and its safest destinations would be Latin American countries, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and Chile, they plan to create their own franchises. It is expected that by 2024 the best teams from each country will play a Champions League format and choose the champion of champions.
A new format that mixes sport with entertainment is here to stay, in two months it is breaking the paradigms of entertainment and leaving a rethinking of traditional football on the table.