The day after Apple launched its new iPhone 15, company chief executive Tim Cook appeared at Real Madrid's headquarters in Valdebebas. The visit caused something of a surprise.
In images posted by Cook to his Twitter account, he was seen holding a club jersey alongside Madrid president Florentino Perez in their trophy room. He also watched first-team training, later greeting manager Carlo Ancelotti and captain Nacho.
Although officially the visit was not business-related, Cook still met the club's most important executives — including senior directors Jose Angel Sanchez and Manolo Redondo, as well as the recently appointed head of retail and licensing Alex Wicks, who also serves as head of partnerships.
The Apple delegation was keen to get to know the Spanish club from the inside and, interestingly, Cook not only stopped to say hello to Ancelotti but chatted with Manu Fernandez, the head of their academy, too.
He also spoke with Alvaro Arbeloa, the manager of Real's under-19s side, and on Sunday evening he watched the Madrid derby against Atletico in the company of a group that included Enzo Alves, a member of Real's under-15s and the son of the club's former left-back and long-time Brazil international Marcelo.
As was the case when he made a similar trip to serial German champions Bayern Munich in September last year, Cook was keen to learn more about how the youth teams are managed, what their goals are and how they handled the GPS data produced during matches and training sessions via iPad.
But Cook's visit should also be understood in the context of a recent history of developing relations between Real and Apple.
Long before Real reached an agreement with Apple TV to distribute the recent documentary La Decimocuarta:Read on m.allfootballapp.com