Rafa Nadal, located in the centre, was accompanied by sports journalist Manu Carreño (left) and MAPFRE vice-president Ignacio Baeza (right in the photograph).

Transformation and leadership were the themes of the interview broadcast to the whole world via Twitter from the MAPFRE innovation center.

On May 3rd, Rafa Nadal held an informal interview with employees and other followers via Twitter from insur_space, the new MAPFRE insurtech startup accelerator. The event which was broadcast to over 600,000 users and featured more than 600 questions, coincided with the tenth anniversary of the tennis star’s partnership with MAPFRE, which has accompanied him during his unstoppable career and while he has achieved many of his greatest successes, including 17 Grand Slam trophies.

Nadal celebra su 10º aniversario con MAPFRE con una entrevista abierta al mundo desde insur_space

Direct conexión between Rafa and Antonio Huertas

The event began with a visit to insur_space, where Nadal was welcomed by Antonio Huertas, the Chairman and CEO of MAPFRE, who signed in live, and with a single question (“How has the experience been for you, as far as working together in the last ten years?”) led to an interesting exchange about the last decade of collaboration, marked by the transformational approach, spirit of ambition and capacity for innovation required to compete by leadership and to evolve as far as adapting to the new environment of digital relations with followers and clients alike.

“Our relationship has been a source of great pride to us during all these years. You are an example to society as a tennis player and as a person. We defend shared values, and remember that there are 250,000 people [employees and direct collaborators] from MAPFRE who support you in all your tournaments, and many of our 35 million clients joining in the now famous chant of #VamosRAFA” (“Go for it, Rafa!”), Antonio Huertas told the sports star.

Company employees and followers on the social networks from all over the world then asked hundreds of questions focusing on numerous aspects of Nadal’s professional career and personal experience. The interview, broadcast by streaming via Twitter, was introduced by Ignacio Baeza, the Vice Chairman of MAPFRE, accompanied by José Antonio Arias, the company’s global Director of Innovation. Manu Carreño, the sports journalist, conducted the most technical part of the interview.

Speed, power, the preparation of new generations of athletes, sustainability, training and attitude were the topics that generated the most interest among his followers. Tennis, and Rafael Nadal as a prime example of the sport, are very closely identified with MAPFRE’s own values, such as solvency, integrity, vocation for service, innovation for leadership, and a committed team spirit.

Nadal described his appreciation of the years that the insurance company has supported his athletic feats, and expressed his appreciation for the affection and support he has personally received thanks to “being part of MAPFRE”. “We always knew you would make your comeback,” commented Vice Chairman Baeza, referring to the player’s tenacity even during the most difficult times.

Some of the most interesting insights shared by Nadal during this fascinating interview included his feeling that he had “not missed out on anything” during his adolescence as a result of devoting so much time to tennis, that the victory that had given him most satisfaction was in the Wimbledon final against Federer in 2008, and the importance of staying excited and intuitive about his game, but “not necessarily perfect”. “The basis /bottom line of all sports is trying to do the best you can with enthusiasm and passion,” he concluded, because otherwise “there’s no point in playing”.