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The president of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu, took part in a series of sessions organised by the London Business School this Friday via videoconference, and in collaboration with the Sports Business Club. He explained the Barça model, all that which goes beyond the football side and considering the traits that make Barça more than a club. In an interview format and under the title of La tertúlia with Josep Maria Bartomeu, he focused on the economical part of the role of sport in the extraordinary current situation we are experiencing due to Covid-19, and also reviewed some of the key pillars that make up the club's current strategy.
Throughout his speech, Bartomeu explained the values that define the identity of FC Barcelona, making special mention of the Barça Foundation and everything that makes it a global brand that's followed and admired around the world. He also explained the particularity of the club as an entity that is owned by its members and the implications in the decision-making process, ensuring that it is a positive and differentiating factor. Bartomeu recalled the club’s pride in its Catalan roots, as well as the implications of belonging to a city like Barcelona, and the great impact of Barça and everything around it in the city’s economy. He highlighted the great role played by other professional sports, emphasising the club's commitment to the professionalisation of Barça Women, which has experienced great growth in recent years.
The interview also outlined some of the club’s strategic pillars, such as the new digital strategy and the upcoming launch of its own OTT. In addition to stating that FC Barcelona is a world leader in engagement on social networks and has established itself as the most followed sports entity, Bartomeu highlighted the content offered through Barça Studios and one of the latest milestones achieved, the launch of e-commerce, the new online store of the Barça Store at the Camp Nou. Taking into account that it is one of the current key points, the Espai Barça project was talked through, Bartomeu speaking about the great economic impact it will have when finished, and all the benefits it will generate. The president also spoke about the Barça Innovation Hub, its areas of knowledge and its goal of contributing to building the future of the world of sport through innovation and knowledge.
With the participation of almost 200 students from the prestigious business school, Bartomeu made an economic assessment of the consequences of Covid-19 in the world of sports and the new reality in the industry derived from this exceptional scenario. He stated that the crisis arising from the pandemic will have a great impact on the world of football and will be especially reflected in the next transfer market, where clubs will be affected by their transactions due to the significant loss of income from the suspension of competitions and the loss of the public in stadiums.
President Josep Maria Bartomeu's statements:
“For those who don't know FC Barcelona, it was founded in 1899 and, from the beginning, it has been very committed to its social responsibility. The club has more than 144,000 members and democracy, freedom of expression and decision-making is one of the main factors that sets us apart from others. Also, because of our Catalan roots and the way we invest in other sports, not just football, our other related activities, such as the Barça Foundation, are helping to create a better world.”
"The growth of women's sports is real. At FC Barcelona, almost 30% of our members are women and there is a great deal of interest in women’s sport. It’s been six years since we pushed for the professionalisation of women’s football, and since then, it’s seen a lot of growth. We are very happy because, today, Barça Women is a sustainable team and are growing with the income generated."
“The strategy we have followed from FC Barcelona to extend our brand globally has been from a great world-renowned football team, to transferring our essence through the Barça Academies, which have more than 45,000 children around the world, and the different actions and agreements developed by the Barça Foundation, as well as from the other activities generated by the club, such as the Barça Innovation Hub or Barça Studios.”
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