Why is the success of the Kings League relevant to the sports industry? 

92,522 spectators attended the Kings League’s Final Four matchup and sold out the stadium. The games between the four finalist teams were the main attraction, but it was not the only show for the attendees. The event featured a Super Bowl-style halftime show between games which featured a rap battle, performances by top stars like Tiago PZK and Lali, and other big names in attendance were Sergio "Kun" Aguero, David Villa and Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

🤔 What is the Kings League?

Founded by former Barcelona and Spain defender Gerard Piqué, alongside Ibai Llanos, Spain’s most famous online streamer, the King’s League is a seven-a-side competition which began on 1 January 2023 and consisted of 12 teams. Teams are presided over by Manchester City’s record goalscorer Sergio Kun Agüero and Real Madrid goalkeeping legend Iker Casillas and include young local players and several retired Spanish football league professionals.

💻 The unlikely combination has enamoured audiences. They turned out in the millions to watch the Final Four on Twitch, YouTube, and TikTok, the league’s official platforms. (Unlike traditional football on paid TV, it broadcasts free via streaming.) More than 2.16 million people watched the event live at one point, breaking the league’s previous record, and an average of 1.38 million tuned in for the nearly seven-hour stream.

A few weeks back, Javier Tebas, the President of LaLiga, referred to it as a “circus,” but with the statistics of the Final Four held on Sunday, it’s no laughing matter. The event has been a massive hit, drawing many online and in person viewers.

🔝 The Kings League had more impact on Twitch than the five major leagues combined, including the Spanish and the Premier League. On TikTok, it had 238 million views, doubling that of the Premier and multiplying that of LaLiga by almost seven. 

🗣 Oriol Querol, CEO of the Kings League, organised by the Kosmos company, says that they want to organise a World Cup in 2024 and intend to be in several countries since they have received many serious proposals and with important partners.

There’s no denying that the concept is a winning formula, drawing in a substantial online audience with match-day viewing figures exceeding one million on Twitch, TikTok, and YouTube.

Several factors explain the decreased audiences for traditional leagues, including disinterest, exorbitant ticket prices, inconvenient scheduling for Gen Z, a lack of influencers, and the necessity to pay to watch matches on TV. However, does this indicate that the Kings League is now as popular as football? Not yet, but the allure of new formats and celebrities like Ibai is so strong that they can make any product successful.

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