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Real Madrid teams up with Legends for overhaul of retail business

Isco of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League. (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Real Madrid has announced that it has entered into a new partnership with US-based merchandise solutions provider Legends, which will oversee and manage Los Blancos’ retail business as the club looks to boost its revenues. 

The appointment of Legends is part of a wider revamp of Real Madrid’s retail and digital strategy, and will involve the relaunch of three official club stores in Madrid, a brand new online store, and a new flagship megastore on the site of the side’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

The stadium is currently undergoing a $590m (€525m) renovation, and the launch of the new club store will come as part of the venue’s reopening next season. Legends has outlined plans to open an interim store on the site until the new megastore is completed, saying that further details will be released in the coming weeks.

The official club stores in Barcelona and Mexico City will also be relaunched. 

Legends says it will provide an “omnichannel” retail programme for the club, leveraging its expertise in merchandising, sales, partnerships, planning, technology and hospitality to boost merchandise and retail revenues. The new e-commerce platform will launch this week in eight different languages as Real Madrid looks to greater capitalise on its global popularity. 

In 2019, Forbes valued Real Madrid at $4.24bn, making it the world’s most valuable football team, in a year in which the club was also ranked as the world’s most-followed football side on social media. The club itself claims that its official website is the most-visited football team homepage on the internet.

Despite this, Real Madrid has struggled to maximise its revenue potential from retail and merchandise. Its revenue from store sales, which includes online and in-store purchases, stood at €24.3m for the 2018-19 season, the most recent for which figures are available, slightly down on the figure of €26.5m in the previous campaign. By contrast, Manchester United claimed retail and merchandising revenues of £102m for 2018-19, while for the same period, Real Madrid’s Spanish rivals Barcelona listed turnover of €61.5m for its wholly-owned Barça Licensing & Merchandising subsidiary.

Legends has worked in an advisory capacity with Real Madrid since 2018, and replaces licensed sports merchandise company Fanatics as the club’s retail partner. Fanatics took up that position after acquiring Global Merchandising, previously a subsidiary of Real Madrid’s long-standing kit provider Adidas, in 2019. At that time, Real Madrid renegotiated its agreements with Fanatics, and regained control over its own retail operations on June 30 this year, leaving it free to sign the new partnership with Legends.

Legends is part-owned by Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees and the National Football League side the Dallas Cowboys – the only two sporting properties in the world valued higher than Real Madrid by Forbes.