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Joan Laporta addressed for the first time remotely the great majority of delegate members who were called to ratify one of the most important sponsorship agreements in Club history, the collaboration with the Swedish company Spotify.
In an Auditori 1899 converted into a large TV studio to cover the event by streaming, Laporta defended the agreement with Spotify for its strategic importance and added "it surpasses in regard to financial figures any previous sponsorship agreement Barça has had in its history and is one of the best in global sport," as well as noting its value in the context of the crisis provoked by the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
"Due to a confidentiality clause, applicable in all of Spotify's global agreement, we cannot give exact figures but what we can say is that its is the best jersey and stadium agreement in financial terms that FC Barcelona has received," said Laporta in the first intervention to open the Extraordinary Assembly to ratify the agreement with Spotify that was announced by the Board of Directors on 15 March. The Assembly started at 11am CEST after a short delay due to technical problems and continued with the President's report as the first point of order of the day. Laporta also revealed "our members and fans around the world will enjoy the benefits of a series of advantages that vice president Juli Guiu will explain."
12 seasons linked to the stadium
Even though the vice president of marketing is the one to explain the details of the collaboration in more detail, Laporta announced that the agreement means the men's and women's first teams and training kit will bear the name of Spotify. Furthermore, he added "the name of Spotify will appear associated with the stadium for the next 12 seasons at least," meaning during the four seasons in which the planned refurbishment will take place and the following eight, "converting the facilities and stadium environment into a new top level entertainment experience open to the city of Barcelona."
Aside from the strategic opportunities offered by the pioneering agreement in the sports industry which brings together music and sport, Laporta also spoke of the association of two giant brands such as Barça and Spotify in each of their fields. "Spotify will accompany us on the road to being a global reference point," said Laporta before adding that another important reason for selecting the most popular audio streaming platform in the world is "the understanding of our way of being and doing."
"They have understood what Barça means and why we are 'More than a Club' as we like to describe ourselves," added the president. Spotify have gained the confidence of the Club and "soon will launch their application in Catalan, a gesture that we like and which tells us Spotify will be a good partner on this journey," announced Laporta.
An important decision in the hands of the members
Laporta began his intervention by valuing the Club's ownership model and assuring once more "an crucial decision for the Club is in the hands of the Barça members. I can assure you that Barça is yours and always will be, FC Barcelona members, that is a privilege."
The FC Barcelona also reminded everyone of the "extremely delicate" financial position the Club was in when he became president, a situation that the Board is turning around "with an agreement that today we put up for ratification. You chose us exactly for that, to take important decisions to get the Club back on track for the coming decades." Despite admitting "things were not done properly under the previous mandate," the president wished to send a message of optimism. "You didn't choose us to feel sorry for ourselves but to look for solutions: the agreement today that we will approve, if you give us your confidence, forms part of the solutions to return Barça back to the top level globally in all aspects." Laporta is confident that the 2021-26 Strategic Plan will allow the Club "to once again be loved, admired and respected and the recent agreement with UNHCR is an example."
"Barça are happy again"
To conclude in his intervention, the Barça president referred to the Club's on field situation with good results for the men's and women's football teams and the professional sections. "Today we can say proudly that thanks to the shared efforts and your understanding and help, we have made Barça happy again. We want to win again. Yet we cannot relax, we have to keep working." He has special gratitude that "during these months you have been behind our teams and pushed them to victory. The rebuilding of the best Barça in history has to be a victory for all of Barça."
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