Getting inspired from FC Barcelona is what I have been doing over the last couple months. Studying at the Barca Innovation Hub to get certified in 'Communications for Sports Organizations' took a lot of my time and energy. And the gained insights of this education program were worth time and money.
Let's go back in time for a moment. Let us think we are back in 2005 and you are planning a weekend trip. Barcelona definitely appears on your list of your favorite cities. And a soccer game at the impressive Camp Nou could well have been the highlight of the weekend.
Today we find ourself in the middle of the pandemic and the FC Barcelona finds itself in the middle of a financial disaster. I'm not writing about the details what happened. If you are interested you will find tons of articles on Google.
But why FC Barcelona is inspiring me? They do the basics of communications right. They followed wise tactics when the media world was turned upside down with the growth of the Internet.
What does that mean?
Athletes, employees and customers have been addressed in their communications plan. These three audiences have been made on track to transport the idea and the values of the sports organization.
Winning as well as creating new revenue streams are the two purposes every sports organization has. Injecting the clubs' identity to all three audiences is one aspect. Having projects like the Barca Innovation Hub for science research is another aspect. And playing on more than one field – FC Barcelona has also teams in e.g. Basketball and Volleyball – rounds up the portfolio of the sports organization and generates a lot of positiv content and revenue also during a loosing streak.
Getting along with the two constraints technology and globalization. Many sports organizations have struggled (or are still struggling) with the growth of the internet. Technology brought your favorite club to the smartphone in your pocket, no matter where you are on the planet. FC Barcelona started early to entertain their fans through their own media channels such as Barca TV, and built a global fan base around the world.
How can FC Barcelona get out of trouble now?
Players contracts are in the middle of all discussions, followed by selling the naming rights of the famous Camp Nou stadium. But if the club could dive into a pioneering role again and take communication to a new level, the potential would be huge. Social Media expert Mario Leo came up with an interesting thesis (in an interview with the Austrian based Sport Business Magazin). If each of the approximately 310 million digital fans would donate 4 euros (one-time), the club would be debt-free.
The truth will be in the middle and for our business it will be interesting looking forward how this next big move of Barça will look like.
cd mediateam Est.