97% of Real Madrid’s fans will never see their team in person. Three of the top five countries that generate the most traffic on the club’s website are not Spanish-speaking nations. Back in 2011, the club helped build a $185 million youth academy—in Guangzhou, China. Still, some spare no expense to see Los Blancos: for each Classico, an estimated 3,000 Israelis fly to Madrid, at an average ticket price of $900.
Cross-cultural marketing is no easy thing. Baseball didn’t become widely adopted in Japan until the meaning of the game changed to emphasize group harmony and obsessive ritual, mirroring Japanese culture.