Barça’s digital strategy creates new relationship with fans in order to adapt to changing consumer habits

Barça’s digital strategy creates new relationship with fans in order to adapt to changing consumer habits

FC Barcelona, the world leader in social media engagement, commits to using data to gain an even better understanding of its global fans to bring them closer to the club and offer tailored products and services

FC Barcelona has presented today its new digital strategy, one that is grounded upon a whole new way of relating to its fans around the globe. Barça is the world’s leading club in the digital, in 2019 and for the second year in a row, it generated more engagement with its fans (more than 1.4 billion interactions) than any other club on the planet and consolidated its status as the club with the most followers on social media, more than 350 million. From this leading position, Barça is now looking to take a further step forward, as explained today at an event titled ‘Barça Digital Vision: Position, Strategy and Digital Projects’, which detailed the Club's plans for a paradigm shift in terms of its digital strategy, to get closer to fans, get to know them better and offer them new products and services that are adapted to their needs.

The presentation of the new digital plan was held at SALA IDEAL – Centre d’Arts Digitals in Barcelona, and featured Josep Maria Bartomeu, president of FC Barcelona; Dídac Lee, board member and head of the club’s Digital Area; Guillem Graell, CMO-Director of the Brand Area; and Enric Llopart, director of the Digital Area. The innovative presentation maximised its impact by using immersive technology that combined different visual and audio effects with high definition projections.

FC Barcelona generates more revenue than any other club in any other sport, and this year expects to break the one billion mark in terms of turnover. Unlike other clubs, Barça generates all of its revenue from the sports industry, and is now bolstering its digital strategy, to compete against major corporations and content platforms in order to maintain its leadership position.

This new digital strategy involves a new evolution of the club’s revenue streams, whereby the digital business is to become one of its main sources of income in the coming years.

Reaching fans

To make this new digital strategy possible, Barça is committed to developing and launching various owned platforms to reach fans directly, without intermediaries, thus gaining a better understanding of their tastes and habits, and ultimaately, offering more compelling Barça services and products.

The new digital strategy is designed to be Fan-Centric, which involves working towards the creation of an integrated system of club products, services and contents, in order to offer the very best possible experience to the club’s fans around the world, whether they visit the Barça ground or not.

Core areas of the new digital strategy

The club is developing this new digital strategy around three core areas: attracting global audiences, entertainment and data, and the creation of an ecosystem of Barça digital products.

In the first of these areas, Barça will be working to continue growing its global audience by reinforcing its leadership on social networks through better quality content adapted to the fans, including leveraging new platforms and programs like Barça eSports to attract young audiences worldwide.

The second core area is based around the creation of entertainment content and the capture and analysis of data, which will, in turn, be weaved through all the projects being developed as part of this new strategy. These two cross-cutting areas will be structured, on the one hand, around Barça Studios, the company set up to create all of the entertainment content that will be fed into the different Barça digital products, and the FRM (Fan Relationship Management) platform, which will be used to collect data from its own platforms to get to know fans better and offer what is most relevant to them.

fan-centric model

The third core area is the creation of an ecosystem of Barça digital products and services, from the club’s OTT to a global membership programme called ‘Culers’, as well as its own e-commerce and innovative solutions for ticket sales. Finally, with the new Espai Barça project, the digital experience in the stadium will undergo major transformations to integrate the digital and physical realms into one.

Statement by Josep Maria Bartomeu, president of FC Barcelona

“A few months ago, while analysing our position and the options available in the digital world, we called on the Digital and Brand Area to design a new digital strategy based on two premises, our absolute conviction in the extraordinary margin for growth that still lies ahead for the Barça brand and the confirmation that our competitive environment has changed. Our opponents are not just in sports. We are competing with the entertainment industry as well”.

“We can now use digital technology to find out who our fans are and what they want. That is why we are developing in-house platforms that can use data analysis methods to offer our fans a wide range of content, products and services that are adapted to their needs”.

"This new model involves a new evolution in terms of our revenue streams. The new income from the digital business will allow us to continue with our ownership structure, which is in the hands of our 140,000 members”.

Dídac Lee, board member and head of the FC Barcelona Digital Area

“We are witnessing a revolution among consumers and their consumption patterns, especially with regard to younger generations. We are competing with new and unexpected competitors outside of stadiums -we are competing on mobile, television and computer screens for the attention. Our competitors are now also major corporations and content platforms. With this in mind, if we can seize the opportunity, we will capture a much bigger piece of the market, which will also present new business opportunities that didn’t exist before”.

“The projects we are presenting and that we are implementing will remain in place in years. They are here to stay, but will be developed and adapted to keep up with emerging trends in the market”.

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