07.03.2019 | Axpo is supporting a traditional Spanish football club

Vamos, Carabanchel, vamos!

Axpo's Spanish subsidiary has installed a modern, energy-efficient LED floodlight system in a vintage era football stadium in Madrid's largest working-class district, and as such is contributing to keeping youngsters off the streets –- and bringing the Axpo brand into TV-rooms around the country.

Madrid's "Barrios" are a world apart: The metropolis with 3.2 million residents is divided into 21 municipalities that are organised in different districts known as Barrios. There is something for every taste here: the Chamberí district in the heart of Madrid with its aristocratic, architectural heritage, the trendy quarter Chueca, the artists' quarter Lavapiés, the Barrio de Las Letras district popular among hipsters and where writers lived in the heyday of Spanish literature, and the noble Salamanca area.

Axpo Iberia, the Axpo subsidiary for the Spanish and Portuguese market, has its headquarters in the midst of the business district on Paseo de la Castellana. The offices in the Torre Europa, the most energy-efficient skyscraper in the city, is just a stone's throw away from the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, the stadium of record champion Real Madrid that can accommodate more than 80,000 spectators.

Support for a traditional club: Player of RCD Carabanchel with Ignacio Soneira, Managing Director Axpo Iberia

However, when it comes to football, Axpo Iberia's heart most recently also lies with the popular third-league association Real Club Deportivo (RCD) Carabanchel originating in the working-class district of the same name and located in the southwest of the Spanish capital with about 250,000 residents.

RCD is one of the most traditional football clubs in Madrid – and that also explains its popularity far beyond the borders of the district and the capital: Three years ago RCD Carabanchel celebrated its 100-year anniversary making it the third oldest football club in Madrid after Real Madrid (founded in 1902) and Atlético de Madrid (founded in 1903), and one of the oldest clubs on the Iberian Peninsula.

Efficient lighting for the oldest stadium in Madrid

The club’s home games are played in La Mina, the oldest stadium in Madrid. This small gem offers seats for 2,000 and standing room for 4,000 spectators. Over the past years, smaller adaptations and refurbishments have been carried out around the football field in order to improve the conditions for the players and the comfort of spectators that root for their favourite team every second Sunday. Renovations include artificial turf, a new locker room section and new seats. But what still was missing was a floodlight system that would meet higher requirements while using as little electricity as possible – and this is where the Axpo experts came into play!

Deal: Ignacio Soneira und RCD Carabanchel President José Luis Saavedra (right)

Ignacio Soneira, Managing Director Axpo Iberia, explains: "Carabanchel is district in Madrid that is shaped and supported by small- and medium-sized companies. As a leading Spanish energy provider for SMEs and self-employed individuals this is precisely the target group we have in mind for the expansion of our business. So it was obvious from the start that we would support the local football club because energy and passion are not only important in sports, they are also the ingredients for sustainable success in business."

Axpo Iberia developed an energy efficiency project for RCD that included the installation of a more sustainable, more efficient lighting system based on LED technology. José Luis Saavedra, Chairman of RCD Carabanchel: "Axpo Iberia has greatly enhanced our stadium La Mina with the new lighting. The old “blind” spots on the playing field have been eliminated and the visibility for our players during training and league matches is much better. Spectators also have a much better view of the games than before."

A heart for youngsters

In addition to the installation of new lighting, Axpo Iberia and RCD Carabanchel recently agreed to join together in a more extensive collaboration going beyond LED technology: Axpo's Spanish subsidiary will support the football club with a sponsoring agreement for the next four years. Under this agreement the club will now be called "RCD Axpo Carabanchel" and the jersey will carry the Axpo logo to promote the visibility and awareness of the Axpo brand when games are broadcast nationally. The financial support from Axpo Iberia not only benefits the third-league team, it has a social aspect as well: The club has teams in all categories and age groups where some 350 youngsters from the district play football.

“The sponsoring arrangement with Axpo Iberia is a milestone for us," says RCD Chairman Saavedra. "Being able to count on Ignacio Soneira's team is a great opportunity for our club. Axpo Iberia is helping us to provide better infrastructure in the stadium, and is also supporting the youngsters here in the district by offering them a meaningful activity and perspectives, and hopefully at some point we will be able to build on past sporting successes with our own RCD talents.”

Seventeen years of experience in renewables

Since its founding in the year 2002, Axpo Iberia has been providing comprehensive energy solutions for producers, consumers and other energy market players, procuring energy for SMEs and end customers, and offering risk management solutions.

All along, the focus has been on sustainable business in the area of renewable energies: Axpo is Spain's number 1 in wind farm management and markets power from wind power plants with an installed capacity of about 6,000 MW for its customers. Axpo has its own production facilities in the area of wind power, solar energy and biomass throughout the Iberian Peninsula.

Axpo is also very active in the energy efficiency business and is the leading energy provider for major end customers in Spain. The Axpo subsidiary also has a pioneer role in the area power purchase agreements (PPA). Over 7 TWh of energy are delivered annually to industrial and SME customers as flexible, tailored products.

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