Costa Rica on Saturday promoted itself as a “Sustainable Tourist Sanctuary” during the Copa del Rey soccer final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao.
The Tourism Board (ICT) ad appeared on the electronic billboards surrounding the pitch at La Cartuja Stadium in Seville.
The ICT described its promotional strategy in Spain as “making a tactical call to action with an invitation to reserve one of the two existing direct flights to our country and thus enjoy the natural beauties, the gastronomy, live the essential values of life and reconnect.”
“Having the presence of the country brand in a sporting event like this one, where athletes of the level of Lionel Messi are playing and, therefore, is followed by millions of fans around the world, allows us to expose the name of Costa Rica as an option to visit and keep it in the minds of Spanish tourists,” said Ireth Rodríguez, ICT Promotion Manager.
The “Esencial Costa Rica” brand appeared 20 times throughout the match.
Viewers who could take their eyes off the billboards saw Messi score twice as Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao, 4-0, to claim the title.
In 2019, nearly 70,000 people arrived to Costa Rica from Spain, representing 14% of European visitors.
Costa Rica receives direct flights from Spain through Iberia, while holiday airline IberoJet has announced a nonstop route starting later this year.