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Aug 1, 2017

Last year Real Madrid was named the fastest growing sports brand in the world, generating an incredible 1.6 billion video views. But Madrid also celebrated an off-field victory by taking the digital El Clasico Facebook crown after beating Barcelona to become the first football club in the world to reach 100 million likes on Facebook.

The combination of a well-crafted digital strategy, the passion of Real Madrid fans, and the support of Real Madrid players, legends, and celebrities, helped them storm past Barcelona in the final moments to become the first sports club to reach this milestone on Facebook.

The story began when Real Madrid teamed up with leading sports digital strategy and tech venture firm Rebel Ventures to win the digital title. The campaign was one of the most dramatic and widely viewed in social media history, generating over 580M media impressions across the globe.

This has been a show of force by the whole Real Madrid family – I don’t think we have ever seen this type of support for anyone on the platform. To see Rafa Nadel, David Beckham, Cristiano and many others rally their fans to aid you on this historic march to 100M likes has been insane to witness. - Robert Rodriguez - Head of Global Football Partnerships Facebook Sports

I invited Craig Howe, Rebel Ventures CEO and Rafael de los Santos - Global head of digital at Real Madrid onto the show to find out more.

Responsible at Real Madrid of Digital Strategy. Rafael is in charge of defining and implementing the digital strategy across all the areas and business within the club. Managing the different digital channels; owned channels such as the web and the app, second party channels where the club manages a certain amount of licenses for digital games and services or virtual goods

Also focused on growing the online sales. Last, the third party channels, where the social media partners, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram among others are included. He is also responsible for the digital transformation process where the creation of a digital Platform and video platforms have been crucial for future revenue.

Rebel Ventures CEO, Craig Howe, built his career on two core principles: Shaping a unified vision through leadership and insight, and identifying and evangelizing digital strategy and marketing innovation.

Craig originally launched the business as a consultancy in 2012 to advise US sports leagues, global sports franchises, and early stage technology companies on how to harness and maximize their digital potential.

Rebel Ventures has since grown to become a global leader in the intersection of sports + digital technology, working with iconic franchises such as San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bulls, Boston Red Sox, Real Madrid, and Liverpool FC to optimize digital strategy and revenue generation.