El president Sandro Rosell i el directiu Didac Lee, presents a la signatura de l'acord entre el FC Barcelona i Mobile World Capital / FOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS - FCB

The sports world is connected to the mobile communications industry. The Mobile World Capital and FC Barcelona have signed a collaboration agreement to promote initiatives of entrepreneurs and ICT companies that develop innovative mobile services in sport. Both organisations will also promote the creation of applications that improve the experience of watching or following a football match.

The collaboration agreement was signed at the Mobile World Capital, in an event that involved Sandro Rosell, President of FC Barcelona, ​​John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA, Agustin Cordon, CEO of Fira Barcelona, ​​and Dídac Lee, director in charge of New Technologies of FC Barcelona.

This agreement implies, on the one hand, to carry out joint actions in the framework of the "Mobile Entrepreneurship Competition" of the Mobile World Capital, responsible for promoting the creation of innovative wireless solutions offering start-up technology business opportunities, business advice and financial support for development in Barcelona, ​​the mobile world capital for the period 2012-2018.

FC Barcelona will integrate into this initiative of the Mobile World Capital it's FCB APPS program, with which it wants to boost the mobile sector linked to sport. "The mobile capital of Barcelona offers the best scenario to promote this program" said Director Dídac Lee. "FC Barcelona appeals to the best entrepreneurs and developers worldwide to submit their proposals for mobile applications oriented towards football and sport in general ", said Lee, who underlined that this agreement with the MWCapital "is a great opportunity to give the program more international projection".

Enriching the User Experience

In this sense, the two organisations will launch an international program to capture the best applications that transmit the Barça values ​​and spirit. The proposals selected will qualify for financial aid and advice for development and market positioning.

"FC Barcelona would like to collaborate with a view to transforming Barcelona into a World reference city in the mobile arena" said FC Barcelona President, Sandro Rosell, who emphasised "the satisfaction of the Club to be able to collaborate on all projects that help to enhance and strengthen the image and economy of the city and the country". Rosell believes that "the Barça commitment to new technologies in recent times has been evident but we still have a long way to go. This partnership will allow us to better serve our members and fans through mobile applications".

At the same time, John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA Ltd. emphasised: "We are delighted that Football Club Barcelona have joined up with Mobile World Capital. The two entities will work together not only to offer football fans in Barcelona and throughout Spain new experiences, but also help drive new business opportunities for companies in the mobile sector. We are very excited and looking forward to working together to promote the Barcelona Mobile World Capital".

Meanwhile, the CEO of the Fira of Barcelona, ​​Agustín Cordon said that "the involvement of FC Barcelona in the project of the Mobile World Capital is a valuable contribution to the prestige of the Club throughout the world, where it is admired for sportsmanship and the values ​​it embodies and conveys". Cordon added that the collaboration established with the Catalan club "will undoubtedly help to generate even more interest in the great potential of mobile applications in the field of leisure and sport".

Participation in the "M-Content" program

In addition, the agreement also provides for the participation of FC Barcelona in the "M-Content" program of Mobile World Capital, aimed at promoting new mobile services that enrich the leisure and entertainment experience for users. Specifically, the collaboration will focus on the project "Enhanced football experience", designed to drive new applications and services that improve the experience of watching or following a football game on or off the field.

More than 1.4 million downloads each day

Five million Spanish people currently use mobile applications and every day 1.4 million apps are downloaded in Spain, more than 16 per second. Globally, sales of applications this year could reach 11,000 million Euros, according to industry sources.

The apps sector is a market with tremendous growth due in part to increased sales of smartphones: in 2011 they grew by 58% compared to 2010, reaching 472 million units worldwide. In Spain there are 34.8 million devices ready to use applications, including 19 million computers, 14.8 million smartphones, 1.1 million TV sets with Internet access, and 900,000 tablets.

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