Spotify’s $307 million deal with FC Barcelona highlights COVID-19’s impact on finances as the club prioritises cash over history, says GlobalData

Following the news that Spotify and Barcelona have signed a reported four-year $307.2 million deal for naming rights to Camp Nou stadium;

Jake Kemp, Sport Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“With a reported $76.8 million set to be pocketed each season for the club, the reasons for FC Barcelona selling Camp Nou’s naming rights are obvious. The club has been looking to re-balance its finances after announcing a huge debt, reported as being in excess of $1 billion, just last season.

“Cash has been in high demand at the Catalan club, after a turbulent 2021 Summer period. The financial crisis was worsened by the termination of its previous $59.14 million-a-year shirt deal with Rakuten. The partnership with Spotify will look to plug part of the huge financial hole at the club, as it eyes further activation in the market, including a new sleeve partnership also being explored.

“For Spotify, this deal is a big statement, as the company’s presence in the sports sponsorship market is limited only to minor deals in Latin American soccer and the Esports League of Legends World Championships. For Spotify, the focus of the deal surrounds its access to a wealth of new data, with its brand image having already been well established. Issues will now surround fully integrating the partnership, as new venue title partners can often struggle to retain their venue affiliation amongst fans.

“Stadium naming rights in European soccer have been limited in recent years, with greater emphasis having been placed on respecting a clubs historic legacy. However, with the number of clubs in European soccer falling into financial trouble— particularly since the start of the pandemic—this could mark the start of a change in the commercial landscape around stadium naming rights.”

For an overview of the soccer kit supplier landscape across major European leagues, check out GlobalData’s ‘Soccer Kit Supplier across Major European Leagues, 2021 Update’ report.

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