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Saudi Soccer League's Ambitious Strategy: Big-Money Player Purchases as First Step

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Saudi Pro League's Long-Term Strategy: Building Global Broadcasting Presence

Acquiring World-Class Players: The First Step

The Saudi Pro League, known for its big-spending ways, has set its sights on becoming one of the top 10 soccer leagues globally. According to Chief Operating Officer Carlo Nohra, the league's strategy is "extremely long term," with player acquisitions serving as the initial step. The league made waves during the summer transfer window, spending over $1 billion in transfer fees and attracting top talents like Neymar, Sadio Mane, Karim Benzema, and Cristiano Ronaldo from Europe's leading leagues.

Growing On and Off the Pitch

Nohra explained that while acquiring star players helps improve on-pitch performance, the ultimate goal is to grow off the pitch and commercialize the league effectively. The strategy encompasses various elements necessary to elevate the Saudi Pro League to the desired top 10 status. This ambitious plan aligns with Saudi Arabia's broader efforts to diversify its economy by investing in commercial infrastructure, aiming to establish itself as a tourism, leisure, and entertainment powerhouse.

Bolstering Reputation and Addressing Criticism

Critics argue that Saudi Arabia's significant investments in sports and entertainment serve as distractions from its human rights record. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, however, has embraced the accusations of "sportswashing," stating that as long as these investments contribute positively to Saudi GDP growth, he disregards the criticism. The kingdom's focus on sports aims to enhance its global reputation while simultaneously driving economic growth.

Improving Governance and Commercialization

Nohra outlined the objectives set for the Saudi Pro League, which include enhancing on-pitch performance, filling stadiums, and driving commercialization. To achieve these goals, the league recognized the need to improve governance, product quality, and understanding of fans. Addressing issues related to player acquisitions and enhancing club capabilities were also crucial steps. The league's organization and structure were also evaluated to ensure competitiveness on a global scale.

Expanding Broadcast Presence and Engaging Fans

In addition to generating revenue through in-person match attendance, the Saudi Pro League aims to expand its broadcast presence worldwide. Nohra highlighted the significant increase in global distribution since the introduction of Cristiano Ronaldo to the league. The league's recent acquisitions have led to renewals and improved commercialization of broadcasting rights globally. The Saudi Pro League remains committed to delivering an enhanced football experience to fans worldwide, catering to their evolving expectations.

Implications of Saudi Pro League's Strategy for New Business Formation

Lessons from Acquiring World-Class Players

The Saudi Pro League's strategy of acquiring world-class players serves as a valuable lesson for new businesses. By investing heavily in top talent, the league has positioned itself for global recognition. Similarly, new businesses can benefit from investing in top talent to drive growth and gain competitive advantage.

Off-Pitch Growth: A Key to Success

The league's focus on off-pitch growth and commercialization offers insights for new businesses. By diversifying its revenue streams and focusing on commercialization, the league aims to secure its financial future. New businesses can similarly diversify their income sources and focus on commercialization to ensure long-term financial stability.

Addressing Criticism: An Essential Aspect of Business

The Saudi Pro League's approach to criticism, particularly the concept of "sportswashing," highlights the importance of addressing criticism head-on. New businesses must be prepared to face and address criticism, using it as an opportunity for growth and improvement.

Improving Governance: A Crucial Step

The league's focus on improving governance and commercialization provides a blueprint for new businesses. By enhancing governance, product quality, and understanding of fans, the league aims to drive growth and competitiveness. New businesses can adopt similar strategies, focusing on governance and customer understanding to drive growth.

Expanding Broadcast Presence: A Global Approach

The Saudi Pro League's strategy of expanding its broadcast presence worldwide offers a global approach that new businesses can emulate. By reaching a global audience, businesses can increase their customer base and drive growth. The league's commitment to delivering an enhanced experience to fans worldwide is a strategy that new businesses can adopt to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/28/saudi-pro-league-player-purchases-are-only-the-first-step-in-strategy.html
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