Intense and highly productive tour

Intense and highly productive tour

Barça on Tour: US 2023 was a resounding success both on a sporting and financial level and the institutional and commercial agendas did wonders for the consolidation of the brand in the USA

The pre-season tour is now history, a tour in which American fans were able to enjoy watching Barça in three of the four games initially scheduled. Unfortunately, the match against Juventus was suspended due to a gastrointestinal virus that affected several Barça players. But the games against Arsenal, Real Madrid and AC Milan were excellent tests for Xavi's team, and aside from all the positive that the team took from the experience, where they were cheered on at every stadium by massive numbers of supporters, there were other things to cheer about. The club also closed the tour with a 20 percent increase in net profit compared to last year's visit to the same country and having completed an intense institutional and commercial agenda that has helped consolidate the Barça brand in the US.

Financially, despite the cancellation of the Santa Clara match with Juventus, and the fee that was not received as a result, FC Barcelona closed this tour with greater revenue than last year's tour season in which four games were played, one more than this year. Likewise, the net profit generated by the tour has increased by 20 percent compared to last year. This increase is not only explained by the rise in income, mainly from ticket sales, but also by cutting tour-related expenses.

The American public clearly responded to a fabulous poster that aroused interest in the three games played, where there was an average attendance of 63,745; 70,223 at the SoFi Stadium for Barça v Arsenal, 38,986 at the Allegiant Stadium to watch Barça v AC Milan and 82,026 at the At&T for Barça v Real Madrid, a record attendance for a Clásico played in the United States and the highest number of spectators ever recorded for a soccer match at this iconic venue. 

Sporting balance

On the field, the team was able to measure its strength against strong opponents who were further into the preseason preparations that the Catalans. The tour also served to give playing time to young players from the youth system, with Fermín López, Lamine Yamal and Marc Casadó all featuring for the first time on the international stages.  

Overall, the results were positive. After defeat in the first match against Arsenal (5-3), the team went on to win with two clean sheets (1-0 against Milan and 3-0 against Real Madrid). The victory against the Madrid team made it three wins out of three in Clásicos played in the United States to date. 

But results on the pitch are just part of the consolidation of the Barça brand in the United States. Off the pitch, various strategic actions and meetings were held to reinforce Barça's presence in the country in the digital, commercial and institutional realms.

Institutional and social

Barça on Tour: US 2023 was represented at an institutional level by club president Joan Laporta and nine members of the Board of Directors who participated in different public events, as well as meetings and private visits related to different areas of the club. Apart from the board of directors, players, coaching staff, executives and employees, the Barça expedition brought along a total of 44 more people (24 accompanying persons from the board of directors and 20 companions from the team) who all paid their own travel and accommodation costs. 

At an institutional level, the central event of the Tour was the Welcome Dinner organised by the club for representatives of local society from Los Angeles and other places in California at the Agua Viva Restaurant, By José Andrés, in the Conrad Hotel. President Laporta and the members of the Board of Directors were hosts to almost 200 guests. 

Regarding the Social Area, the club organised four meetings with supporters clubs in the United States, namely the Peña Blaugrana Los Ángeles, the Peña LA Soccer Foundation, the Peña Barça Austin, the Peña Blaugrana Houston, PB Dallas and PB Las Vegas. They all got the chance to meet the Board of Directors at events in which the intensity and passion with which the Barça colours are experienced was patently clear, and despite the distance from the club's home.

At an institutional level, the Board of Directors also held a mixed session (in person and online for directors who had not travelled) at which different topics were discussed.

Brand and Digital

Outside of the institutional sphere, one of the highlights of this tour was the unveiling of the new second kit in the United States, the same day that the players wore it for the first time in the match against Arsenal. This launch came hand in hand with the usual promotion strategy on the club's digital channels to ensure maximum impact in the United States, which is also a priority market in the retail field.

The club's digital marketing strategy, now under the umbrella of the recently created Barça Identity Area, also focused on networking activities both with rival teams in friendlies and, above all, with sports franchises such as Los Angeles Rams of the NFL and the women's soccer team, Angel City FC, owned by several stars from the American arts and sports scenes, including Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria and Serena Williams, and with which synergies were explored for the promotion of the Barça women's team in the country. There were also joint actions with a dozen local influencers from different fields who helped to raise awareness of the Barça brand in the region.

Commercial Area

In the commercial field, the tour was a fine showcase for sponsors to exploit their brand association with FC Barcelona. Spotify, the club's main partner, used the tour for various actions in stadiums and recording studios with the joint participation of different players and stars from the world of music such as Daddy Yankee, the band Fuerza Regida and Brazilian singer Anitta.

Nike, another main partner, organised a visit by the players to an area of Los Angeles where the it organises social sports activities for young adults and children.

Actions were been carried out with other sponsors such as Scotiabank and Estrella Damm, as well as an event organised with ACCIÓ and the Catalan Tourism Agency prior to the Arsenal match attended by the Board of Directors and representatives of US technology multinationals with the objective of boosting the projection of Catalonia as a focus for investment and corporate tourism.

The commercial and sponsorship team, together with members of the Board of Directors, also held several private meetings such as one at the Crypto Arena, home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA, to find out in situ how Just Walk Out is implemented in commercial spaces. This is a technology to pay directly from a mobile device, thus avoiding the waiting times at checkout desks.

In Fan Engagement, the tour was used to carry out various visits and face-to-face workshops with some of the world's leading social platforms based in the United States, such as YouTube, Google, Meta, Facebook,, Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok, Twitter, now X, and Snapchat.

Interviews in the US media

The tour made Barça the centre of much attention, as demonstrated by the interest it generated in the country's press, who were keen to gather sporting and institutional news from interviews with president Laporta, the players and other club executives.

Laporta gave interviews to CNN, ESPN and Univisión, which is aimed at the Hispanic audience, as well as Fortune magazine, a global publication specialising in business, and one final interview with the Los Angeles Times. The players also attended to several American media, including ESPN and Univisión; other television networks such as CBS and Telemundo, printed media such as The Athletic, the New York Times sports pages, and the digital media that specialises in sports, Bleacher Report.

Espai Barça 

The United States has top-level sports facilities that are benchmarks for management and commercial exploitation. The club's management team and senior executives made different visits during the tour to learn first-hand about how these stadiums operate, with an eye to replicating certain ideas in the future Spotify Camp Nou, especially in the field of Hospitality and VIP spaces. The facilities that club representatives visited were the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, the venue for Barça v Arsenal and the homes of the LA Rams and LA Chargers in NFL, the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, that hosted the Clásico and is the home of the Dallas Cowboys in NFL, The Star in Frisco, Texas, corporate entertainment centre of the Dallas Cowboys and the Sphere in Las Vegas, which has only been open since September and is considered one of the most technologically advanced entertainment centres in the world.

As for sponsorship of Espai Barça, the club executives held meetings with different companies that are interested in becoming future partners in the new, improved Barça stadium.


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