A group of FC Barcelona board representatives accompanying the club's U.S. tour were in San Francisco this past Friday, paying a visit to the headquarters of Rakuten and Facebook in the Californian city. Headed by First Vice-President, Jordi Cardoner, those in attendance included directors Jordi Mestre, Jordi Moix, Joan Bladé, Josep Ramon Vidal-Abarca, Maria Teixidor, Quique Tombas and Emili Rousaud, and club CEO, Òscar Grau.
Yaz Iida, president of Rakuten's U.S. operations, welcomed the group to the headquarters of FC Barcelona's first team shirt sponsor. More than 600 of Rakuten's 12,000 U.S. employees work in the San Francisco offices, one of twelve in the USA.
After visiting the two buildings and witnessing the company's working methods firsthand, the Barça group enjoyed a dinner with Rakuten representatives.
The next stop was Palo Alto, to visit Facebook's main headquarters. Besides finding out how the social media company runs its operations at its main facility, the group also aimed to further consolidate the partnership between the two businesses, which has led to FC Barcelona becoming one of Facebook's main content partners.
The collaboration work has allowed both entities to work together on a series of important projects, such as virtual reality, live content, Instagram stories and the launch of IGTV. FC Barcelona are leaders in native content creation for Facebook platforms, and the football club with the most global interactions.
The Barça delegation were given a tour of part of the Facebook campus, taking in various departments. They were also shown the Oculus artificial intelligence project in person to conclude an informative and entertaining visit.
Barça has more fans on Facebook than any other social network -137 million-, which is 42% of the club’s total of 321 million on all such platforms.
In the United States, the club has some 10 million followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and 3.5 million on Facebook, where the US is the sixth highest ranked country in the world.
FC Barcelona also generates more engagement on Facebook (225 million) than any other sports club, being followed by Real Madrid (221 million), having topped the ranking in seven of the last twelve months. It is also a global leader in views of audiovisual material, as confirmed by 2,000 million views of its videos from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018. That equates to an average of 5.4 million views a day of the content that Barça publishes on Facebook , Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Additionally, the club has around 3 million followers on Instagram (third in the world ranking) and a further 3 million on Twitter. More than 60% of Barça’s overall support on social networks is on either Facebook (137 million) or Instagram (60.6 million).