Spanish soccer giant Real Madrid is partnering with Legends to revamp its merchandise and apparel strategy, further combining the world’s three most valuable sports teams.
The tie-up between Real Madrid and Legends, owned in part by the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys, includes the relaunch of three stores in Madrid and the development of flagship shop inside the team’s stadium. Legends will also run the team’s global online shop.
“All of our partners are iconic, they’re trying to do things at the highest level within their respective worlds,” Legends CEO Shervin Mirhashemi said in an interview. “And their brands are what’s so valuable about them. They guard that with great care and when they choose a partner they want someone that understands that.”
Real Madrid has won a record 33 Spanish league titles, and more Champions League crowns than any other club. Revenues in 2018-19 were $850 million (757 million Euros), marking at least 20 consecutive years of growth. It is the most-followed soccer team on social media, and also claims to have the most-visited soccer team website in the world.
Legends will look to leverage that popularity and success into more sales of jerseys, t-shirts and other merchandise. The new e-commerce platform will launch this week in eight languages. Legends is hiring a team to manage the partnership on the ground in Madrid, and will relaunch additional official team stores in Barcelona and Mexico.
The flagship store at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu will be part of the team’s wider $590 million (525 million Euros) renovation of project.
Merchandise programs serve three main goals for sports teams–to bring in revenue, to serve as grassroots marketing, and to give teams more data about their fans. That’s especially true for the world’s biggest franchises.
“You go all around the world, and you see Yankees hats everywhere,” Mirhashemi said. “It’s a symbol of the city, of the brand itself, and sometimes these people aren’t even baseball fans. Real Madrid is the same.”
Founded as a hospitality company in 2008, Legends has grown into a full-service agency supporting sports teams, venues and entertainment companies. The group’s services include sponsorship valuations, naming rights sales, hospitality, ticketing, concessions, fundraising and both online and brick-and-mortar merchandising.
Legends has worked with Real Madrid since 2018, when the company was hired to help with feasibility and planning surrounding the team’s stadium project. Its other clients include the University of Notre Dame, Manchester City F.C. and U.S. Soccer.