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News at FCB

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    Barça's South American players with the Telefónica delegate councillor José María Álvarez-Pallete / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
    The agreement that is for three years plus another two as an option is announced and inlcudes a friendly game in Latin America "One of the reasons that Telefónica have joined up with us is the players that we have," according to the vice president

    FC Barcleona and Telefónica presented their sponsorship agreement, which will see the telecommunications company be a regional partner in Latin America, at a press conference at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper that was attended by vice president Javier Faus and the José Maria Álvarez-Pallete, Telefónica’s delegate councillor.

    The Club is keen to strengthen it long standing relationship with Telefónica that stretches back to the 1990s. The objective is to grow and create a stronger partnership in Latin America, a region that is key for the organisation’s global expansion, and where Barça at the moment have more than 50 million fans. The Telefónica group currently sits in sixth place in the world telecommunications sector in terms of capitalisation on the stock market and in first place as an integrated European operator.

    The sponsorship agreement is for three years with an option for another two and it includes a friendly in South America during the first three years. FC Barcelona will receive €13.3 million a season thanks to this agreement.

    Telefónica’s strength in the telecommunication industry means that in the coming months, there will be a wifi network at Camp Nou according to vice president Javier Faus.

    FC Barcelona vice president Javier Faus:

    “Latin America is a region that Barça has always had great interest in developing. Within our strategic plan is it an important priority.”

    “One of the reasons for which Telefónica have decided to take this step to join up with us is due to the players that we have. We have the three players who form the most potent strike force in the world and that is very important for Telefónica.”

    “Telefónica allows us to reach more people, more places in the world and further afield. It is important for our growth that our content and our matches are seen by the maximum number of people in the world.”

    Over the exploitation of television rights for the season 2015/16, Faus assured: “The financial offers from Telefónica and Mediapro in the area of TV rights were identical. The decision was a strategic one, more quality than quantity. Telefónica is a company that wants to make an impact in this area, investing in business and innovation.”

    “Maybe in six or nine months time, it is a technically complex operation, the FC Barcelona members will be able to enjoy wifi at Camp Nou.”

     Telefónica delegate councillor José María Álvarez-Pallete:

    “It is especially exciting for us to have reached this agreement to be a special partner all over Latin America for this season and the next four.”

    “It is an historic agreement. It allows us to share the values of sport with our customers and friends in more than 20 countries. We will be able to grow the Telefónica, Vivo and Movistar brands and we will bring Barça closer to these regions.”

    “Nobody has invested more than Telefónica in the region. We have dedicated effort and commitment and we have the ability to distribute and a global presence that is difficult to replicate.”


    Barça's South American players with the Telefónica delegate councillor José María Álvarez-Pallete / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
    The agreement that is for three years plus another two as an option is announced and inlcudes a friendly game in Latin America "One of the reasons that Telefónica have joined up with us is the players that we have," according to the vice president

    FC Barcleona and Telefónica presented their sponsorship agreement, which will see the telecommunications company be a regional partner in Latin America, at a press conference at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper that was attended by vice president Javier Faus and the José Maria Álvarez-Pallete, Telefónica’s delegate councillor.

    The Club is keen to strengthen it long standing relationship with Telefónica that stretches back to the 1990s. The objective is to grow and create a stronger partnership in Latin America, a region that is key for the organisation’s global expansion, and where Barça at the moment have more than 50 million fans. The Telefónica group currently sits in sixth place in the world telecommunications sector in terms of capitalisation on the stock market and in first place as an integrated European operator.

    The sponsorship agreement is for three years with an option for another two and it includes a friendly in South America during the first three years. FC Barcelona will receive €13.3 million a season thanks to this agreement.

    Telefónica’s strength in the telecommunication industry means that in the coming months, there will be a wifi network at Camp Nou according to vice president Javier Faus.

    FC Barcelona vice president Javier Faus:

    “Latin America is a region that Barça has always had great interest in developing. Within our strategic plan is it an important priority.”

    “One of the reasons for which Telefónica have decided to take this step to join up with us is due to the players that we have. We have the three players who form the most potent strike force in the world and that is very important for Telefónica.”

    “Telefónica allows us to reach more people, more places in the world and further afield. It is important for our growth that our content and our matches are seen by the maximum number of people in the world.”

    Over the exploitation of television rights for the season 2015/16, Faus assured: “The financial offers from Telefónica and Mediapro in the area of TV rights were identical. The decision was a strategic one, more quality than quantity. Telefónica is a company that wants to make an impact in this area, investing in business and innovation.”

    “Maybe in six or nine months time, it is a technically complex operation, the FC Barcelona members will be able to enjoy wifi at Camp Nou.”

     Telefónica delegate councillor José María Álvarez-Pallete:

    “It is especially exciting for us to have reached this agreement to be a special partner all over Latin America for this season and the next four.”

    “It is an historic agreement. It allows us to share the values of sport with our customers and friends in more than 20 countries. We will be able to grow the Telefónica, Vivo and Movistar brands and we will bring Barça closer to these regions.”

    “Nobody has invested more than Telefónica in the region. We have dedicated effort and commitment and we have the ability to distribute and a global presence that is difficult to replicate.”


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    Mobile Ticket / FCB
    The stadium is adapting to new technologies and now there is access to games at Camp Nou and the Camp Nou Experience without the need to print out tickets

    FC Barcelona continue working hard to put technological innovations at the service of their members and fans to make their lives easier. As such, the Club has initiated the Mobile Ticket project, a service that allows fans and members to store match tickets or Camp Nou Experience tickets on their mobile devices without the necessity to print them and bring them physically to the ground. From now on, mobile is just the ticket.

    The Mobile Ticket scheme is practical and very simple to use. Once you have downloaded the application according to you mobile device operating system (Passbook for iPhone and iPod or PassWallet for Android tablets and phones), you simply follow the instructions.

    Didac Lee, Barça director responsible for New Technologies, places this project within the Club’s desire globally to offer services to fans and members: “The objective in the area of technology is to bring the Club closer to members and fans and we believe the mobile is the most useful tool to do this, because it is within everybody’s reach and it opens us the possibility of making this relation easier. The Mobile Ticket scheme is an example of how technology can make access to the ground easier and more comfortable, and it is not the only service of this type. Soon we will be announcing new functions for mobile devices that will allow fans and members to improve their experience with the Club.”

    This service is now fully functional to use for matches at Camp Nou and for the Camp Nou experience.

    Below we explain how exactly it works.

    1) On your iPhone or iPod Touch the Passbook application is already installed. For Android devices it is necessary to download the PassWallet application.

    2) Buy your match ticket or your ticket for the Camp Nou Experience at fcbarcelona.com.

    3) When you receive e-mail confirmation from the Club, add your tickets directly to Passbook or PassWallet.

    4) Validate the QR code that appears in Mobile Ticket at the turnstiles at the stadium or for the Camp Nou Experience.

    Buy tickets for Barça-Málaga


    Mobile Ticket / FCB
    The stadium is adapting to new technologies and now there is access to games at Camp Nou and the Camp Nou Experience without the need to print out tickets

    FC Barcelona continue working hard to put technological innovations at the service of their members and fans to make their lives easier. As such, the Club has initiated the Mobile Ticket project, a service that allows fans and members to store match tickets or Camp Nou Experience tickets on their mobile devices without the necessity to print them and bring them physically to the ground. From now on, mobile is just the ticket.

    The Mobile Ticket scheme is practical and very simple to use. Once you have downloaded the application according to you mobile device operating system (Passbook for iPhone and iPod or PassWallet for Android tablets and phones), you simply follow the instructions.

    Didac Lee, Barça director responsible for New Technologies, places this project within the Club’s desire globally to offer services to fans and members: “The objective in the area of technology is to bring the Club closer to members and fans and we believe the mobile is the most useful tool to do this, because it is within everybody’s reach and it opens us the possibility of making this relation easier. The Mobile Ticket scheme is an example of how technology can make access to the ground easier and more comfortable, and it is not the only service of this type. Soon we will be announcing new functions for mobile devices that will allow fans and members to improve their experience with the Club.”

    This service is now fully functional to use for matches at Camp Nou and for the Camp Nou experience.

    Below we explain how exactly it works.

    1) On your iPhone or iPod Touch the Passbook application is already installed. For Android devices it is necessary to download the PassWallet application.

    2) Buy your match ticket or your ticket for the Camp Nou Experience at fcbarcelona.com.

    3) When you receive e-mail confirmation from the Club, add your tickets directly to Passbook or PassWallet.

    4) Validate the QR code that appears in Mobile Ticket at the turnstiles at the stadium or for the Camp Nou Experience.

    Buy tickets for Barça-Málaga


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    The Penya Blaugrana London at their floating headquarters / PENYA BLAUGRANA LONDON
    We take a look at the oldest Barça supporters' club outside Spain – and one with a unique clubhouse

    It’s kick off time and the Camp Nou roars out the Barça anthem: “Tot el Camp... Es un clam”. The players come out onto the pitch, the captains shake hands, the referee puts the ball on the centre circle – the game is about to start in the Catalan capital. Now shift 1,000 kilometres north to London. In a boat moored on the banks of the river Thames Barça’s oldest penya outside Spain is meeting to watch the game with all the enthusiasm of the fans at the Camp Nou – welcome to Bar&Co, the home of the Penya Blaugrana London, known to its members as “Camp Nou on the Thames”.

    With Barça due in England to face Manchester City on Tuesday, 24 February, we spoke to Eduard Manas, the President of the Penya Blaugrana London, which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this December.

    Q: Where do you meet to watch FCB matches?

    Eduard Manas: Penya Blaugrana London (PBL) meets at Bar&Co, a boat moored in the river Thames, in front of Temple station. We can proudly say we are the only penya based in a boat.

    Q: What are the objectives of the penya?

    E.M.: We have three objectives: to promote FCB and its values in the UK, to provide an environment to watch FCB matches and to help people make friends and socialise in London

    Q: How many members do you have and are most of them ex-pat Catalans or English people?

    E.M.: We currently have 170 members and we are proudly the most multicultural penya with 25 nationalities. We are also very proud of the good work we have done these last few years promoting FC Barcelona in the UK.   38% of our members are Catalan, 30% English, 11% Spanish and 21% from the rest of the world.

    Q: What advantages does a Barça fan have if she joins a penya?

    E.M.: The main benefit is being a part of a friendly community of fans dedicated to supporting FC Barcelona in London. There is also a 10% discount on food and drinks at Bar&Co, our base, great deals on their menus, a badge, a good looking membership card, and 15% discounts for FCB tickets. We also try to promote FCB amongst our younger members. This year, all our members under 16 will receive a FCB football.

    Q: Barça face English Champions Manchester City in the next round of the Champions League – will your penya be at the game?

    E.M.: We will indeed be at the game with more than 30 members. Last year, we travelled with 47 members and unfolded our huge Saint George flag at the Etihad stadium. Saint George is the shared saint of both England and Barcelona, so it is an important flag for Penya Blaugrana London.

    Q: Do you have a prediction for the City result?

    E.M.: Our prediction is 0 - 2 in Manchester, and 3-0 at the Camp Nou. Fortunately our Barça has started to play top football again.  We know that when Barça play well, no team can stop us!


    The Penya Blaugrana London at their floating headquarters / PENYA BLAUGRANA LONDON
    We take a look at the oldest Barça supporters' club outside Spain – and one with a unique clubhouse

    It’s kick off time and the Camp Nou roars out the Barça anthem: “Tot el Camp... Es un clam”. The players come out onto the pitch, the captains shake hands, the referee puts the ball on the centre circle – the game is about to start in the Catalan capital. Now shift 1,000 kilometres north to London. In a boat moored on the banks of the river Thames Barça’s oldest penya outside Spain is meeting to watch the game with all the enthusiasm of the fans at the Camp Nou – welcome to Bar&Co, the home of the Penya Blaugrana London, known to its members as “Camp Nou on the Thames”.

    With Barça due in England to face Manchester City on Tuesday, 24 February, we spoke to Eduard Manas, the President of the Penya Blaugrana London, which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this December.

    Q: Where do you meet to watch FCB matches?

    Eduard Manas: Penya Blaugrana London (PBL) meets at Bar&Co, a boat moored in the river Thames, in front of Temple station. We can proudly say we are the only penya based in a boat.

    Q: What are the objectives of the penya?

    E.M.: We have three objectives: to promote FCB and its values in the UK, to provide an environment to watch FCB matches and to help people make friends and socialise in London

    Q: How many members do you have and are most of them ex-pat Catalans or English people?

    E.M.: We currently have 170 members and we are proudly the most multicultural penya with 25 nationalities. We are also very proud of the good work we have done these last few years promoting FC Barcelona in the UK.   38% of our members are Catalan, 30% English, 11% Spanish and 21% from the rest of the world.

    Q: What advantages does a Barça fan have if she joins a penya?

    E.M.: The main benefit is being a part of a friendly community of fans dedicated to supporting FC Barcelona in London. There is also a 10% discount on food and drinks at Bar&Co, our base, great deals on their menus, a badge, a good looking membership card, and 15% discounts for FCB tickets. We also try to promote FCB amongst our younger members. This year, all our members under 16 will receive a FCB football.

    Q: Barça face English Champions Manchester City in the next round of the Champions League – will your penya be at the game?

    E.M.: We will indeed be at the game with more than 30 members. Last year, we travelled with 47 members and unfolded our huge Saint George flag at the Etihad stadium. Saint George is the shared saint of both England and Barcelona, so it is an important flag for Penya Blaugrana London.

    Q: Do you have a prediction for the City result?

    E.M.: Our prediction is 0 - 2 in Manchester, and 3-0 at the Camp Nou. Fortunately our Barça has started to play top football again.  We know that when Barça play well, no team can stop us!


    0 0

    Àlex Jiménez and his sons Estanis, Dídac and Damià enjoyed a special meeting with Neymar Jr / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
    A dream has come true for Estanis, Didac and Damià when they met the Brazilian striker, their favourite player

    Àlex Jiménez and his sons Estanis and Dídac were, a few months ago, the 25 millionth visitors to the FC Barcelona Museum since its inauguration in 1984. As a result, they have been the fortunate beneficiaries of a number of gifts in what is also the 30th anniversary year of the Museum, and the latest of these was the chance to meet their favourite player, Brazilian star Neymar Jr.

    The children, along with their younger brother Damià, arrived for the occasion proudly wearing their Barça shirts with Neymar’s name on the back and enjoyed the chance to ask him some questions. The player also signed a commemorative card for them to keep as a souvenir of their exciting day. Before, these very special guests have also been on an exclusive guided tour of the Museum, where they got the chance to kick a ball around on the pitch, go on a special private visit to the first team dressing room and receive commemorative first team shirts.

    FC Barcelona Museum


    Àlex Jiménez and his sons Estanis, Dídac and Damià enjoyed a special meeting with Neymar Jr / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
    A dream has come true for Estanis, Didac and Damià when they met the Brazilian striker, their favourite player

    Àlex Jiménez and his sons Estanis and Dídac were, a few months ago, the 25 millionth visitors to the FC Barcelona Museum since its inauguration in 1984. As a result, they have been the fortunate beneficiaries of a number of gifts in what is also the 30th anniversary year of the Museum, and the latest of these was the chance to meet their favourite player, Brazilian star Neymar Jr.

    The children, along with their younger brother Damià, arrived for the occasion proudly wearing their Barça shirts with Neymar’s name on the back and enjoyed the chance to ask him some questions. The player also signed a commemorative card for them to keep as a souvenir of their exciting day. Before, these very special guests have also been on an exclusive guided tour of the Museum, where they got the chance to kick a ball around on the pitch, go on a special private visit to the first team dressing room and receive commemorative first team shirts.

    FC Barcelona Museum


    0 0

    Sponsorship agreement with Castle
    The Club's sponsorship agreement with Castle has been handed the prestigious Best African Sponsorship Award by Discovery Sports Industry Award.

    The sponsorship deal between FC Barcelona and SABMiller Group’s leading African beer brand Castle has been handed the prestigious Best African Sponsorship Award by Discovery Sports Industry Award.

    In making their decision, which was announced in Johannesburg on February 12, the judges took into account the importance of the fact that the agreement aimed to contribute to the development of sport in Africa.

    The agreement, which was signed in July 2013, is Barça’s first with an African company and spreads over 13 countries through the Castle Lager and Castle Milk Stout beer brands. The deal also involves the setting up of clinics run by FC Barcelona coaches in countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania


    Sponsorship agreement with Castle
    The Club's sponsorship agreement with Castle has been handed the prestigious Best African Sponsorship Award by Discovery Sports Industry Award.

    The sponsorship deal between FC Barcelona and SABMiller Group’s leading African beer brand Castle has been handed the prestigious Best African Sponsorship Award by Discovery Sports Industry Award.

    In making their decision, which was announced in Johannesburg on February 12, the judges took into account the importance of the fact that the agreement aimed to contribute to the development of sport in Africa.

    The agreement, which was signed in July 2013, is Barça’s first with an African company and spreads over 13 countries through the Castle Lager and Castle Milk Stout beer brands. The deal also involves the setting up of clinics run by FC Barcelona coaches in countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania


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    Jordi Cardoner has presented the outcome of the census process / GERMÁN PARGA - FCB
    Eighty-three percent of the club's membership have renewed their status, 10% had not paid or were invalid for other reasons and 7% have left voluntarily or passed away

    On Friday morning, FC Barcelona Social Area vice-president Jordi Cardoner presented the results of the two-and-a-half-year census process, and offered an analysis of what the numbers obtained mean in terms of the club's membership.

    At present, 144,756 completed and handed in the census, while 9,213 have yet to pay this year’s membership fee. The latter will have a few more weeks to settle their payment or, once all administrative processes have run their course, they will be definitively dropped as active members according to that established in the Club’s Statutes

    The process began on 22 October 2012 and ended at the end of December 2014. “This has been a historic achievement, not because of the census, but because of the pulchritude and clarity” Cardoner told the media today. A specific office was set up to run the operation and cater for members’ needs and enquiries.[[CITA_1]]
    The vice-president continued by commenting that "we have detected certain irregularities that we have been able to correct.” The club had 170,235 members when the process began, and that figure has been reduced to 144,756. This is due to natural causes (voluntary cancellation or death) or various forms of fraud that have now been amended. In total, 83% of the members passed the census, 7% have left for natural reasons and 10% are no longer members due to the detection of irregularities.

    The membership outlined

    The outcome is that we now have a far clearer picture of how many members FC Barcelona has, and who and where they are, which will help focus more on what they really need. “We have been able to segment them into different groups so we know where the specific needs lie” said Cardoner. The idea is to find a balance between the number of members and the services offered by the club, which is a crucial factor to be considered when restructuring the new stadium.

    “This is a historic achievement because of the pulchritude and clarity”

    Jordi Cardoner has presented the outcome of the census process / GERMÁN PARGA - FCB
    Eighty-three percent of the club's membership have renewed their status, 10% had not paid or were invalid for other reasons and 7% have left voluntarily or passed away

    On Friday morning, FC Barcelona Social Area vice-president Jordi Cardoner presented the results of the two-and-a-half-year census process, and offered an analysis of what the numbers obtained mean in terms of the club's membership.

    At present, 144,756 completed and handed in the census, while 9,213 have yet to pay this year’s membership fee. The latter will have a few more weeks to settle their payment or, once all administrative processes have run their course, they will be definitively dropped as active members according to that established in the Club’s Statutes

    The process began on 22 October 2012 and ended at the end of December 2014. “This has been a historic achievement, not because of the census, but because of the pulchritude and clarity” Cardoner told the media today. A specific office was set up to run the operation and cater for members’ needs and enquiries.[[CITA_1]]
    The vice-president continued by commenting that "we have detected certain irregularities that we have been able to correct.” The club had 170,235 members when the process began, and that figure has been reduced to 144,756. This is due to natural causes (voluntary cancellation or death) or various forms of fraud that have now been amended. In total, 83% of the members passed the census, 7% have left for natural reasons and 10% are no longer members due to the detection of irregularities.

    The membership outlined

    The outcome is that we now have a far clearer picture of how many members FC Barcelona has, and who and where they are, which will help focus more on what they really need. “We have been able to segment them into different groups so we know where the specific needs lie” said Cardoner. The idea is to find a balance between the number of members and the services offered by the club, which is a crucial factor to be considered when restructuring the new stadium.

    “This is a historic achievement because of the pulchritude and clarity”

    0 0

    FC Barcelona's social media, in real-time
    How Barça put together its digital landcape, a successful endeavour harnessing the power of global fan sentiment

    In May of 2011, a new European champion was crowned at Wembley Stadium in England. On the day of the final, Twitter recorded more than 6,000 tweets per second throughout the 90 minutes of the match. Fans from every corner of the earth immortalised FC Barcelona's triumph by mentioning the Club by name more than half a million times on the world's preeminent microblogging service.

    This modern global version of FC Barcelona has spread its wings thanks in large part to the digital revolution and, in particular, the phenomenon of social media. It is in this realm that Barça has become the worldwide leader among sporting institutions. But, how did it get there?

    “The numbers are what really jump out at you," affirms Dídac Lee, an FC Barcelona board member and head of the Club's Area for New Technologies. Nevertheless, a look behind those numbers reveals a deeply held mantra focusing on bringing the Club to as many people as possible, a strategy designed to ensure continued global growth. "The digital world and social media are the tools that make this formula work." Over the last five seasons, Barça has been managing official accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LINE, Pinterest and Daily Motion, as well as Chinese sites Tencent Weibo and Sina Weibo.

    FCB 2.0

    The beginning

    The long road of FC Barcelona's digital strategy began at the end of 2010 with the creation of an Online Department. The unit was born for the very purpose of bringing internet service and connectivity to the entire Club while making the most of existing synergies to carry out the new digital strategy. This strategy, according to Lee, consists of three main points: “Creating content adapted to each territory through the Club's international websites; utilising social media as a platform for distributing this content; and generating engagement — commitment — through the employment of mobile apps, promotional marketing, and management of the global community of FCB fans.

    In order to achieve its goals, the Club moved forward with an intensified effort to set up FC Barcelona's new web platform and prioritise social media. While the Club's social media presence was launched in 2009, by the first half of 2011 the number of followers on Barça's official Facebook page had doubled. It was around then that Leo Messi starred in the Club's first online campaign specifically oriented towards Facebook, the popular social network where Barça was just reaching a new milestone of ten million fans.

    Daniel McLaren, an expert in digital sports marketing, sees the numbers as proof that Barça “was setting social media records at a time when that sort of thing was believed to be nothing more than an innovative whim."

    "Since then," McLaren says, "there's been a general sense that Barça's strategy involves a deep understanding of the long term implications and that they truly believe they can benefit in the maximum possible way."

    On Twitter, Barça's accounts in Catalan, Spanish and English have registered a staggering growth of 850%, while the Club's official policy of using Catalan hashtags — such as #Pep40, #AnimsAbidal or #CampionsFCB — to help facilitate an international understanding of the local language and culture, both deeply engrained in the Barça tradition, has been a clear winner. 

    New platform

    The digital strategy initiated by the Online Department was strengthened by the November 2011 inauguration of the new web platform. It featured a fresh design and a broader structure supporting more than 6,000 pages, giving Barça fans everywhere a cutting-edge source of information and enjoyment.

    The new websites in Catalan, Spanish and English kept up their growth in the ensuing months while the Club incorporated sites in several new languages. The first was Chinese in June 2012, followed by French and Arabic one month later, Japanese in December of the same year, Indonesian in May 2013 and, finally, Portuguese in October 2013. By then, the platform consisted of sites in nine different languages with content specially adapted for each country or region. The launch of each site brought with it new social media profiles that could promote social networking, most importantly on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

    Sunny Cadwallader, another digital marketing expert, is optimistic about Barça's social media strategy "because global brands have to, quite literally, speak the same language as their fans." Cadwallader highlights the importance of having social media access in multiple languages "so devotees can get the information they want in a language they can understand." This personalised attention "shows that Barça cares about its fans and tries to put itself in their shoes," says Cadwallader, a renowned consultant in the United States.

    The new platform has been buttressed by improvements in the Club's official e-commerce sites offering online ticket sales and other services. Additionally, there has been an uptick in sales and content distribution to more than 40 countries thanks to deals with Binbit and China's Tencent, as well as a reaffirmed commitment to the mobile phone sector stemming from an agreement with Mobile World Capital and the FCB Apps program. “Our income from digital operations has grown in the last few seasons from five to 30 million euros," explains Lee.

    Model for success

    In recent years the Club's work with social media has been globally recognised. In winning the 2012 and 2013 Social Star Awards, FC Barcelona was named the top sports club in the world for social media management, beating out Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea.

    In February 2014 Barça became the first sports club on the planet to reach 100 million fans on social media, thus solidifying the Club's stature in the 2.0 world and showcasing its long term potential. At the time, Barça was attracting, on average, more than 100,000 new followers every single day among its 30 official channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo. “These astronomical numbers are the proof that we aren't betting on a single channel, but rather we are looking for users wherever they may be. Barça doesn't wait for its fans to come to it; Barça goes out and actively searches for them," says Lee, the board member and New Technology head.

    [[CITA_1]]

    The often-cited threshold of 100 million fans, however, is by no means Barça's roof, as the past few months have shown. In all of 2014, the Club increased its following on social media to the tune of more than 186,000 people a day, on average.

    The numbers in 2014

    In 2014 Barça opened six new channels on social media, reinforcing its video platforms and its presence in the Asian market with profiles on Vine, Dailymotion, Wechat, Sina Weibo, Tune in, and an official Instagram account for the Club's different professional sports. FC Barcelona drew the curtain on 2014 with more than 175 million fans across all social networks, converting the Club's strategy into not just a question of the past, but something to look forward to in the future.

    Barça doesn't wait for its fans to come to it; Barça goes out and actively searches for them.

    FC Barcelona's social media, in real-time
    How Barça put together its digital landcape, a successful endeavour harnessing the power of global fan sentiment

    In May of 2011, a new European champion was crowned at Wembley Stadium in England. On the day of the final, Twitter recorded more than 6,000 tweets per second throughout the 90 minutes of the match. Fans from every corner of the earth immortalised FC Barcelona's triumph by mentioning the Club by name more than half a million times on the world's preeminent microblogging service.

    This modern global version of FC Barcelona has spread its wings thanks in large part to the digital revolution and, in particular, the phenomenon of social media. It is in this realm that Barça has become the worldwide leader among sporting institutions. But, how did it get there?

    “The numbers are what really jump out at you," affirms Dídac Lee, an FC Barcelona board member and head of the Club's Area for New Technologies. Nevertheless, a look behind those numbers reveals a deeply held mantra focusing on bringing the Club to as many people as possible, a strategy designed to ensure continued global growth. "The digital world and social media are the tools that make this formula work." Over the last five seasons, Barça has been managing official accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LINE, Pinterest and Daily Motion, as well as Chinese sites Tencent Weibo and Sina Weibo.

    FCB 2.0

    The beginning

    The long road of FC Barcelona's digital strategy began at the end of 2010 with the creation of an Online Department. The unit was born for the very purpose of bringing internet service and connectivity to the entire Club while making the most of existing synergies to carry out the new digital strategy. This strategy, according to Lee, consists of three main points: “Creating content adapted to each territory through the Club's international websites; utilising social media as a platform for distributing this content; and generating engagement — commitment — through the employment of mobile apps, promotional marketing, and management of the global community of FCB fans.

    In order to achieve its goals, the Club moved forward with an intensified effort to set up FC Barcelona's new web platform and prioritise social media. While the Club's social media presence was launched in 2009, by the first half of 2011 the number of followers on Barça's official Facebook page had doubled. It was around then that Leo Messi starred in the Club's first online campaign specifically oriented towards Facebook, the popular social network where Barça was just reaching a new milestone of ten million fans.

    Daniel McLaren, an expert in digital sports marketing, sees the numbers as proof that Barça “was setting social media records at a time when that sort of thing was believed to be nothing more than an innovative whim."

    "Since then," McLaren says, "there's been a general sense that Barça's strategy involves a deep understanding of the long term implications and that they truly believe they can benefit in the maximum possible way."

    On Twitter, Barça's accounts in Catalan, Spanish and English have registered a staggering growth of 850%, while the Club's official policy of using Catalan hashtags — such as #Pep40, #AnimsAbidal or #CampionsFCB — to help facilitate an international understanding of the local language and culture, both deeply engrained in the Barça tradition, has been a clear winner. 

    New platform

    The digital strategy initiated by the Online Department was strengthened by the November 2011 inauguration of the new web platform. It featured a fresh design and a broader structure supporting more than 6,000 pages, giving Barça fans everywhere a cutting-edge source of information and enjoyment.

    The new websites in Catalan, Spanish and English kept up their growth in the ensuing months while the Club incorporated sites in several new languages. The first was Chinese in June 2012, followed by French and Arabic one month later, Japanese in December of the same year, Indonesian in May 2013 and, finally, Portuguese in October 2013. By then, the platform consisted of sites in nine different languages with content specially adapted for each country or region. The launch of each site brought with it new social media profiles that could promote social networking, most importantly on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

    Sunny Cadwallader, another digital marketing expert, is optimistic about Barça's social media strategy "because global brands have to, quite literally, speak the same language as their fans." Cadwallader highlights the importance of having social media access in multiple languages "so devotees can get the information they want in a language they can understand." This personalised attention "shows that Barça cares about its fans and tries to put itself in their shoes," says Cadwallader, a renowned consultant in the United States.

    The new platform has been buttressed by improvements in the Club's official e-commerce sites offering online ticket sales and other services. Additionally, there has been an uptick in sales and content distribution to more than 40 countries thanks to deals with Binbit and China's Tencent, as well as a reaffirmed commitment to the mobile phone sector stemming from an agreement with Mobile World Capital and the FCB Apps program. “Our income from digital operations has grown in the last few seasons from five to 30 million euros," explains Lee.

    Model for success

    In recent years the Club's work with social media has been globally recognised. In winning the 2012 and 2013 Social Star Awards, FC Barcelona was named the top sports club in the world for social media management, beating out Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea.

    In February 2014 Barça became the first sports club on the planet to reach 100 million fans on social media, thus solidifying the Club's stature in the 2.0 world and showcasing its long term potential. At the time, Barça was attracting, on average, more than 100,000 new followers every single day among its 30 official channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo. “These astronomical numbers are the proof that we aren't betting on a single channel, but rather we are looking for users wherever they may be. Barça doesn't wait for its fans to come to it; Barça goes out and actively searches for them," says Lee, the board member and New Technology head.

    [[CITA_1]]

    The often-cited threshold of 100 million fans, however, is by no means Barça's roof, as the past few months have shown. In all of 2014, the Club increased its following on social media to the tune of more than 186,000 people a day, on average.

    The numbers in 2014

    In 2014 Barça opened six new channels on social media, reinforcing its video platforms and its presence in the Asian market with profiles on Vine, Dailymotion, Wechat, Sina Weibo, Tune in, and an official Instagram account for the Club's different professional sports. FC Barcelona drew the curtain on 2014 with more than 175 million fans across all social networks, converting the Club's strategy into not just a question of the past, but something to look forward to in the future.

    Barça doesn't wait for its fans to come to it; Barça goes out and actively searches for them.

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    The players often post their photos on social networks / FCB
    The players' social networks are helping to project the club's image around the world, and we take a look at how that is happening

    2.0 communication is not a science, but using it well shares a lot in common with the scientific method. For example, at the Brazil 2014 World Cup, web users posted more than 672 million tweets in relation to the competition. The two most featured players were both FC Barcelona stars, namely Leo Messi and Neymar Jr. The global impact of so many mentions made them the two of the most influential sportspersons on the planet: Messi is second with 57 million followers and Neymar is third with almost 40 million.

    When Neymar scored two of his team’s three goals in the opening match, his Twitter account grew by 165,000 and he was the most mentioned player among the 12 million tweets generated by the tournament. In 2014, @Neymarjr was the account that gained the most followers out of the 300 million in this micro-blogging network, no fewer than one and a half million newcomers with a keenness to keep up to date with the Barça star.

    Social strategies

    This data confirms the relevance of social networks in players’ global profiles. This 2.0 content achieves a symbolic impact that catches the imagination of supporters, who feel emotionally implicated with their heroes. Social networks create a story around the player, and that history is also associated to the worldwide prestige of the FC Barcelona brand.

    This exposure helps Barça with its marketing, media and digital campaigns, while also promoting the club’s own channels, which are expanding exponentially year after year.

    [[CITA_1]]

    The messages, videos and images published by the players on their profiles often go viral, thus attracting new followers and in turn creating extra exposure for FC Barcelona’s own information. Increased audiences with an interest in Messi, Iniesta, Neymar, Luis Suárez and other players also generates increased sales for Barça products, such as shirts, tickets and merchandising. But the impact is also felt in indirect sales, such as the attraction of sponsorship deals and the negotiation of television rights.

    Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube all generate unique focuses for each individual player, where they and their fans can share views and capitalise on their success in the name of a shared triumph – that of the team.

    Joel Borrás, who is in charge of the accounts belonging to Andrés Iniesta and Luis Suárez, as well as Rafinha Alcántara and Javier Mascherano, explains that such media “help to create the players’ value … because they reach the fans without middle-men. What a player seeks from their social profile is to feel closer to their fans. Before speaking to the press, players can express their feelings about the match on social networks. It is a more pure way of communicating with their fans.”

    Marcelo Méndez, who works for Leo Messi in the social context explains that “his favourite media are Facebook and Instagram. That’s where he feels most comfortable because he can speak to his fans whenever there’s an important event and can thank them for their unconditional support”.

    “Players are very aware of the impact of what they publish on social networks”, continues Borràs. “If a player’s attitude on social networks is bad then this can have a negative impact on the club … So players are very aware that if they do things right and act authentically and sincerely, then this also benefits Barça. They also represent the club’s values”.

    FCB social

    Messi feels comfortable with Facebook and Instagram. He doesn't have Twitter

    The players often post their photos on social networks / FCB
    The players' social networks are helping to project the club's image around the world, and we take a look at how that is happening

    2.0 communication is not a science, but using it well shares a lot in common with the scientific method. For example, at the Brazil 2014 World Cup, web users posted more than 672 million tweets in relation to the competition. The two most featured players were both FC Barcelona stars, namely Leo Messi and Neymar Jr. The global impact of so many mentions made them the two of the most influential sportspersons on the planet: Messi is second with 57 million followers and Neymar is third with almost 40 million.

    When Neymar scored two of his team’s three goals in the opening match, his Twitter account grew by 165,000 and he was the most mentioned player among the 12 million tweets generated by the tournament. In 2014, @Neymarjr was the account that gained the most followers out of the 300 million in this micro-blogging network, no fewer than one and a half million newcomers with a keenness to keep up to date with the Barça star.

    Social strategies

    This data confirms the relevance of social networks in players’ global profiles. This 2.0 content achieves a symbolic impact that catches the imagination of supporters, who feel emotionally implicated with their heroes. Social networks create a story around the player, and that history is also associated to the worldwide prestige of the FC Barcelona brand.

    This exposure helps Barça with its marketing, media and digital campaigns, while also promoting the club’s own channels, which are expanding exponentially year after year.

    [[CITA_1]]

    The messages, videos and images published by the players on their profiles often go viral, thus attracting new followers and in turn creating extra exposure for FC Barcelona’s own information. Increased audiences with an interest in Messi, Iniesta, Neymar, Luis Suárez and other players also generates increased sales for Barça products, such as shirts, tickets and merchandising. But the impact is also felt in indirect sales, such as the attraction of sponsorship deals and the negotiation of television rights.

    Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube all generate unique focuses for each individual player, where they and their fans can share views and capitalise on their success in the name of a shared triumph – that of the team.

    Joel Borrás, who is in charge of the accounts belonging to Andrés Iniesta and Luis Suárez, as well as Rafinha Alcántara and Javier Mascherano, explains that such media “help to create the players’ value … because they reach the fans without middle-men. What a player seeks from their social profile is to feel closer to their fans. Before speaking to the press, players can express their feelings about the match on social networks. It is a more pure way of communicating with their fans.”

    Marcelo Méndez, who works for Leo Messi in the social context explains that “his favourite media are Facebook and Instagram. That’s where he feels most comfortable because he can speak to his fans whenever there’s an important event and can thank them for their unconditional support”.

    “Players are very aware of the impact of what they publish on social networks”, continues Borràs. “If a player’s attitude on social networks is bad then this can have a negative impact on the club … So players are very aware that if they do things right and act authentically and sincerely, then this also benefits Barça. They also represent the club’s values”.

    FCB social

    Messi feels comfortable with Facebook and Instagram. He doesn't have Twitter

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    The players have been presented with their new Maurice Lacroix watches / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
    The Swiss watchmakers Maurice Lacroix have been FC Barcelona 'Official Partners' since last March

    Swiss watchmakers Maurice Lacroix, who are official FC Barcelona sponsors, presented the first team squad players with a special edition of their Pontos S “FCB” watch.

    As ‘Official Partner’ of FC Barcelona, Maurice Lacroix have strengthened their presence over the last six months and the Camp Nou scoreboard currently boasts a large company image. The new ad for the company aims to highlight the links between the two organisations with the participation of the players.

     


    The players have been presented with their new Maurice Lacroix watches / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
    The Swiss watchmakers Maurice Lacroix have been FC Barcelona 'Official Partners' since last March

    Swiss watchmakers Maurice Lacroix, who are official FC Barcelona sponsors, presented the first team squad players with a special edition of their Pontos S “FCB” watch.

    As ‘Official Partner’ of FC Barcelona, Maurice Lacroix have strengthened their presence over the last six months and the Camp Nou scoreboard currently boasts a large company image. The new ad for the company aims to highlight the links between the two organisations with the participation of the players.

     


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    Josep M. Bartomeu and Ahmed Julfar mnet at the Etisalat stand at the Mobile World Congress / GERMÁN PARGA
    The FC Barcelona president had a meeting with Ahmed Julfar, director general of the telecommunications operator and a club sponsor

    On Thursday, Josep Maria Bartomeu paid a visit to the stand of Etisalat, an FC Barcelona Premium Regional Partner, at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) being held in Barcelona this week. The leading telecommunications operator in the Near East, Africa and Asia is playing a major role at one of the biggest telecommunications fairs in the world. Bartomeu was joined by the FCB director general Ignacio Mestre for a meeting with Ahmed Julfar and Ahmed Bin Ali, director general and senior vice-president of Etisalat, respectively, where they discussed how positively the relationship between the two organisations has been.

    The agreement between FC Barcelona and Etisalat was signed in 2009 and has since been extended until 30 June 2017, by which the company based in the United Arab Emirates has become a Premium Regional Partner not only in the UAE, but also in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Nigeria, Syria, Lebanon, Morocco and many other countries.

    Statement by Josep M. Bartomeu

    “The deal with Etisalat is working very well. They are delighted with a club like ours, with such important players and that has helped them approach their people and all their customers. It is also very important for us to have a sponsor like Etisalat, with so many telephone users around the world, especially in the Arab region, because it helps us to reach these countries and increase our global fan base. We therefore want to continue and expand this association.”


    Josep M. Bartomeu and Ahmed Julfar mnet at the Etisalat stand at the Mobile World Congress / GERMÁN PARGA
    The FC Barcelona president had a meeting with Ahmed Julfar, director general of the telecommunications operator and a club sponsor

    On Thursday, Josep Maria Bartomeu paid a visit to the stand of Etisalat, an FC Barcelona Premium Regional Partner, at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) being held in Barcelona this week. The leading telecommunications operator in the Near East, Africa and Asia is playing a major role at one of the biggest telecommunications fairs in the world. Bartomeu was joined by the FCB director general Ignacio Mestre for a meeting with Ahmed Julfar and Ahmed Bin Ali, director general and senior vice-president of Etisalat, respectively, where they discussed how positively the relationship between the two organisations has been.

    The agreement between FC Barcelona and Etisalat was signed in 2009 and has since been extended until 30 June 2017, by which the company based in the United Arab Emirates has become a Premium Regional Partner not only in the UAE, but also in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Nigeria, Syria, Lebanon, Morocco and many other countries.

    Statement by Josep M. Bartomeu

    “The deal with Etisalat is working very well. They are delighted with a club like ours, with such important players and that has helped them approach their people and all their customers. It is also very important for us to have a sponsor like Etisalat, with so many telephone users around the world, especially in the Arab region, because it helps us to reach these countries and increase our global fan base. We therefore want to continue and expand this association.”


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    The new passport will make it easier for children to come and enjoy games
    The period ends on March 19 and FC Barcelona v Almeria will be the first game for which the new age will be applicable

    The Liga fixture between FC Barcelona and Almeria, to be played on Wednesday 8 April at 8.00pm CET, will be the first for which the new measures for the Children’s Passport will be applicable. The age for which the offer is available has been raised from 7 to 14 years, for which reason the club has opened a new period for online applications. Children up to 14 can access the Passport by filling in an application form on the website between March 9 and 19. The Passport is free, will be sent to the given home address and is valid until the end of the current season. The Passport will be automatically renewed every year and the new one will be sent by mail.

    Once this period for online applications for the Children’s Passport has ended, interested members in ordering one can do so until the end of the season by coming in person to the OAB. Members that already have a Passport are not required to do anything additional.

    The Children’s Passport is a free pass created by the club at the start of this season as part of the ‘Children at the Camp Nou’ project. The aim is to control and register entrance of children under 14 to the stadium in order to comply with all of the security regulations concerning the entry of minors to sports stadiums.

    Free app and club website

    In order for child members to enter the Camp Nou, they must activate the Children’s Passport up to six days before the game and at any time before kick-off. They can do this using the free ‘FCB Children’s Passport’ app for mobile devices that is compatible with Apple and Android. There is also the option of activating it via the club website at www.fcbarcelona.com.

    Requests for access must be made match by match, and once the Passport has been activated, the system will indicate the stadium gate through which the minor and the adult accompanying them may enter. Remember that the adult companion may not free the seat using the Seient Lliure system.

    App FCB Passport

    ‘Children at the Camp Nou’ still active

    All members that do not wish to obtain the Children’ Passport may continue asking, match by match, for a free physical ticket for children aged up to 14 years of they are the children or grandchildren of members. This can be done in person at the club ticket offices or online up to six days before the game starts. This system will also first come into operation for the home fixture against Almeria.

    Senior Passport from March 16

    From March 16, all members wising to obtain a Senior Passport may make their applications. This offer is for members aged 70 or more that have been members for at least 25 years and have held a season ticket for at least the last five years. Applications of the Senior Passport must be made in person at the OAB.

    For all of these offers there is a limit on the number of passes per match so please check availability before coming to the stadium. Also bear in mind that children may not purchase tickets for what are classed as high risk matches, which are all games against Real Madrid or Atlético Madrid and games in the knockout stage of the Champions League. Others games can be declared to be high risk at the discretion of the club.

     


    The new passport will make it easier for children to come and enjoy games
    The period ends on March 19 and FC Barcelona v Almeria will be the first game for which the new age will be applicable

    The Liga fixture between FC Barcelona and Almeria, to be played on Wednesday 8 April at 8.00pm CET, will be the first for which the new measures for the Children’s Passport will be applicable. The age for which the offer is available has been raised from 7 to 14 years, for which reason the club has opened a new period for online applications. Children up to 14 can access the Passport by filling in an application form on the website between March 9 and 19. The Passport is free, will be sent to the given home address and is valid until the end of the current season. The Passport will be automatically renewed every year and the new one will be sent by mail.

    Once this period for online applications for the Children’s Passport has ended, interested members in ordering one can do so until the end of the season by coming in person to the OAB. Members that already have a Passport are not required to do anything additional.

    The Children’s Passport is a free pass created by the club at the start of this season as part of the ‘Children at the Camp Nou’ project. The aim is to control and register entrance of children under 14 to the stadium in order to comply with all of the security regulations concerning the entry of minors to sports stadiums.

    Free app and club website

    In order for child members to enter the Camp Nou, they must activate the Children’s Passport up to six days before the game and at any time before kick-off. They can do this using the free ‘FCB Children’s Passport’ app for mobile devices that is compatible with Apple and Android. There is also the option of activating it via the club website at www.fcbarcelona.com.

    Requests for access must be made match by match, and once the Passport has been activated, the system will indicate the stadium gate through which the minor and the adult accompanying them may enter. Remember that the adult companion may not free the seat using the Seient Lliure system.

    App FCB Passport

    ‘Children at the Camp Nou’ still active

    All members that do not wish to obtain the Children’ Passport may continue asking, match by match, for a free physical ticket for children aged up to 14 years of they are the children or grandchildren of members. This can be done in person at the club ticket offices or online up to six days before the game starts. This system will also first come into operation for the home fixture against Almeria.

    Senior Passport from March 16

    From March 16, all members wising to obtain a Senior Passport may make their applications. This offer is for members aged 70 or more that have been members for at least 25 years and have held a season ticket for at least the last five years. Applications of the Senior Passport must be made in person at the OAB.

    For all of these offers there is a limit on the number of passes per match so please check availability before coming to the stadium. Also bear in mind that children may not purchase tickets for what are classed as high risk matches, which are all games against Real Madrid or Atlético Madrid and games in the knockout stage of the Champions League. Others games can be declared to be high risk at the discretion of the club.

     


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    fathers day
    All members and fans get a 40% discount on the second ticket for FC Barcelona v Almeria when purchasing on the club website, plus 2x1 on the Camp Nou Experience

    March 19 is Father’s Day in Barcelona and to celebrate, we are offering a special promotion starting on Monday 9 March whereby fans and members get a 40% discount on the price of their second ticket for the game against Almeria at the Camp Nou on Wednesday 8 April at 8.00pm CET. The offer is valid until March 19 and purchases must be made on the club website at www.fcbarcelona.com using the promotional code ADNCULER. Tickets are available for all zones apart from Gol Baix, General and Lateral 4.

    [[BOTOVERMELL::Fathers Days Promotion++FC Barcelona v Almeria ::https://tickets-fcb.fcbarcelona.com/fcbarcelona/en_US/entradas/evento/1933/session/105033/step1r2::HOR::NF::NO-TRACKING::::::]

    Also from March 9 to 19, FC Barcelona members get a 30% discount on the purchase of one or two tickets for the game with Almeria. This offer is valid via all of the usual sales channels and is applied as soon as the member is identified. If buying a ticket outside of this period, members get the usual 20% discount.

    The Camp Nou Experience too

    We are also offering a special Fathers Day deal for the Camp Nou Experience, which includes both the stadium tour and the museum visit. From March 9 to 22, all you have to do is go to the club website at www.fcbarcelona.con and enter the code DIAPA5 to get a 50% discount on two tickets.

    Fathers Days Promotion Camp Nou Experience:https://tickets-fcb.fcbarcelona.com/fcbmuseu/en_US/entradas/evento/1200/session/13498/step1r2


    fathers day
    All members and fans get a 40% discount on the second ticket for FC Barcelona v Almeria when purchasing on the club website, plus 2x1 on the Camp Nou Experience

    March 19 is Father’s Day in Barcelona and to celebrate, we are offering a special promotion starting on Monday 9 March whereby fans and members get a 40% discount on the price of their second ticket for the game against Almeria at the Camp Nou on Wednesday 8 April at 8.00pm CET. The offer is valid until March 19 and purchases must be made on the club website at www.fcbarcelona.com using the promotional code ADNCULER. Tickets are available for all zones apart from Gol Baix, General and Lateral 4.

    [[BOTOVERMELL::Fathers Days Promotion++FC Barcelona v Almeria ::https://tickets-fcb.fcbarcelona.com/fcbarcelona/en_US/entradas/evento/1933/session/105033/step1r2::HOR::NF::NO-TRACKING::::::]

    Also from March 9 to 19, FC Barcelona members get a 30% discount on the purchase of one or two tickets for the game with Almeria. This offer is valid via all of the usual sales channels and is applied as soon as the member is identified. If buying a ticket outside of this period, members get the usual 20% discount.

    The Camp Nou Experience too

    We are also offering a special Fathers Day deal for the Camp Nou Experience, which includes both the stadium tour and the museum visit. From March 9 to 22, all you have to do is go to the club website at www.fcbarcelona.con and enter the code DIAPA5 to get a 50% discount on two tickets.

    Fathers Days Promotion Camp Nou Experience:https://tickets-fcb.fcbarcelona.com/fcbmuseu/en_US/entradas/evento/1200/session/13498/step1r2


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    The OAB has changed its weekend opening times
    From March 14, the Barcelona Supporter Services Office will only be open on Saturdays and Sundays when there is a game at the Camp Nou, from 10.00 am until the second half kicks off

    The Barcelona Supporter Services Office (OAB), located in the Social Building (Seu Social), has changed its weekend opening hours. From next Saturday 14 March, the OAB will only open at the weekends when there is a game at the Camp Nou and will be attending to fans and members from 10.00 am until the second half of the match kicks off, whereupon the office will close.

    This means that the OAB will now be open to the public at the following times:

    OAB openings times: Mondays to Fridays from 9.00 am to 8.00 pm

    Opening times on match days:

    • Midweek football matches at the Camp Nou: from 9.00 am until the start of the second half.
    • Weekend football matches at the Camp Nou: from 10.00 am until the start of the second half.
    • Football matches at the Camp Nou on bank holidays: from 10.00 am until the start of the second half.

    The new opening hours also affect the telephone helpline, which will be available from Monday to Friday from 9.00 am until 8.00 pm and on days of matches at the Camp Nou at the following times:

    • Midweek football matches at the Camp Nou: from 9.00 am until the start of the match.
    • Weekend football matches at the Camp Nou: from 10.00 am until the start of the match.
    • Football matches at the Camp Nou on bank holidays: from 10.00 am until the start of the match.

    We remind all members and fans that they can use the OAB Online service to make transactions, answer queries and check information and member services quickly and comfortably on the Internet.

    OAB ONLINE


    The OAB has changed its weekend opening times
    From March 14, the Barcelona Supporter Services Office will only be open on Saturdays and Sundays when there is a game at the Camp Nou, from 10.00 am until the second half kicks off

    The Barcelona Supporter Services Office (OAB), located in the Social Building (Seu Social), has changed its weekend opening hours. From next Saturday 14 March, the OAB will only open at the weekends when there is a game at the Camp Nou and will be attending to fans and members from 10.00 am until the second half of the match kicks off, whereupon the office will close.

    This means that the OAB will now be open to the public at the following times:

    OAB openings times: Mondays to Fridays from 9.00 am to 8.00 pm

    Opening times on match days:

    • Midweek football matches at the Camp Nou: from 9.00 am until the start of the second half.
    • Weekend football matches at the Camp Nou: from 10.00 am until the start of the second half.
    • Football matches at the Camp Nou on bank holidays: from 10.00 am until the start of the second half.

    The new opening hours also affect the telephone helpline, which will be available from Monday to Friday from 9.00 am until 8.00 pm and on days of matches at the Camp Nou at the following times:

    • Midweek football matches at the Camp Nou: from 9.00 am until the start of the match.
    • Weekend football matches at the Camp Nou: from 10.00 am until the start of the match.
    • Football matches at the Camp Nou on bank holidays: from 10.00 am until the start of the match.

    We remind all members and fans that they can use the OAB Online service to make transactions, answer queries and check information and member services quickly and comfortably on the Internet.

    OAB ONLINE


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    Zhe Dong celebrating his arrival at Camp Nou /FCB
    Zhe Dong travelled from the remote province of Hubei to see the league game against Villarreal

    Love for Barça led Zhe Dong, a blaugrana fan from the Chinese province of Hubei, hitch hiked all the way from his village to Barcelona just to see a Barça game live and in the flesh. He achieved his dream last month when he witnessed the 3-2 league victory against Villarreal.

    The road from China to Catalonia was long and arduous. The route began in his home province, the remote province of Hubei; he made it to Beijing and then on to Manchuria. From there he made his way westward across Russia before arriving at the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. His journey continued as he continued through Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Italy and France before finally landing in Barcelona.

    “There were some difficult moments, but at the same time I met a lot of people who helped me and who encouraged me,” remembers Dong. “When I felt low, Barça was like a guiding star that showed me the way to Barcelona and Camp Nou.”

    On 30 January, after more than a month of travelling, Zhe finally arrived at his destination. Reaching Camp Nou after so many days on the road provoked various feelings: “At that moment I was so proud to be a Barça fan and it was all worth it in the end.”

    His love for FC Barcelona stems from the time in which Ronaldinho kept the fans on the edge of their seats. Since then, Zhe made the promise to travel to Barcelona to see a game live. “I had a dream and it came true,” he says. “The idea was to come and show my enthusiasm and love for Barça.”


    Zhe Dong celebrating his arrival at Camp Nou /FCB
    Zhe Dong travelled from the remote province of Hubei to see the league game against Villarreal

    Love for Barça led Zhe Dong, a blaugrana fan from the Chinese province of Hubei, hitch hiked all the way from his village to Barcelona just to see a Barça game live and in the flesh. He achieved his dream last month when he witnessed the 3-2 league victory against Villarreal.

    The road from China to Catalonia was long and arduous. The route began in his home province, the remote province of Hubei; he made it to Beijing and then on to Manchuria. From there he made his way westward across Russia before arriving at the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. His journey continued as he continued through Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Italy and France before finally landing in Barcelona.

    “There were some difficult moments, but at the same time I met a lot of people who helped me and who encouraged me,” remembers Dong. “When I felt low, Barça was like a guiding star that showed me the way to Barcelona and Camp Nou.”

    On 30 January, after more than a month of travelling, Zhe finally arrived at his destination. Reaching Camp Nou after so many days on the road provoked various feelings: “At that moment I was so proud to be a Barça fan and it was all worth it in the end.”

    His love for FC Barcelona stems from the time in which Ronaldinho kept the fans on the edge of their seats. Since then, Zhe made the promise to travel to Barcelona to see a game live. “I had a dream and it came true,” he says. “The idea was to come and show my enthusiasm and love for Barça.”


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    Louis Van Gaal lifting the European Super Cup / FCB Archive
    Barça claim the European Super Cup title against Borussia Dortmund

    It was the European Super Cup claimed against German side Borussia Dortmund. In the first leg played at Camp Nou on 8 January 1998, Barça had won 2-0 thanks to goals from current coach Luis Enrique and Rivaldo. That win put them on the road to claiming the trophy and two months later in the Westfalen Stadion the blaugranes picked a 1-1 draw that was enough to give them the title. At the time the Super Cup pitted the Cup Winners’ Cup champions against the Champions League holders over two legs. Giovanni gave the visitors the lead in just the 7th minute with Heinrich levelling things up after 65 minutes. The Barça 11 that day was formed by Hesp; Ferrer, Nadal, Bogarde; Luís Enrique (Ciric, m. 89), Celades (Amor, m. 79), Sergi; Figo, Giovanni, Rivaldo; Anderson (Òscar, m. 71).


    Louis Van Gaal lifting the European Super Cup / FCB Archive
    Barça claim the European Super Cup title against Borussia Dortmund

    It was the European Super Cup claimed against German side Borussia Dortmund. In the first leg played at Camp Nou on 8 January 1998, Barça had won 2-0 thanks to goals from current coach Luis Enrique and Rivaldo. That win put them on the road to claiming the trophy and two months later in the Westfalen Stadion the blaugranes picked a 1-1 draw that was enough to give them the title. At the time the Super Cup pitted the Cup Winners’ Cup champions against the Champions League holders over two legs. Giovanni gave the visitors the lead in just the 7th minute with Heinrich levelling things up after 65 minutes. The Barça 11 that day was formed by Hesp; Ferrer, Nadal, Bogarde; Luís Enrique (Ciric, m. 89), Celades (Amor, m. 79), Sergi; Figo, Giovanni, Rivaldo; Anderson (Òscar, m. 71).


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    Barça Fans surprising new ad campaign
    As part of a promo spot for Barça Fans, people waiting for a bus got quite a surprise!

    Imagine. Just like you do every morning, you are sat bleary eyed at the bus stop waiting for the number 42 to take you off to work. It’s January, it’s chilly, you wish you were still back in bed instead of here like you are every morning. There’s something odd though; the bus shelter has been decorated to look like the Camp Nou and your bench has been transformed into Luis Enrique’s dug out. Suddenly Xavi Hernandez appears on the shelter’s video information screen. Hang on, you can hear the Camp Nou crowd cheering a goal! Then the bus appears and out steps a ref dressed in black to usher you on board. Have you overslept and is this a dream? What was in that coffee you had this morning?

    Well, that’s what must have passed through the minds of the people waiting at the bus stop in Hospitalet on January 29, when their reactions were videoed by a secret camera as part of a promotional activity for Barça Fans .

    You can see the video -'Propera Parada  - as part of the campaign for Barça Fans on the Club’s social media pages from today.

     

    What is Barça Fans?

    The Barça Fans space – which is accessible from the Club website – gives you exclusive contents about the team, such as highlights from Cup and League games, player interviews, polls, prize draws and much, much more

    All content is completely free, all you have to do is register here to enjoy the experience of being a real Barça Fan!


    Barça Fans surprising new ad campaign
    As part of a promo spot for Barça Fans, people waiting for a bus got quite a surprise!

    Imagine. Just like you do every morning, you are sat bleary eyed at the bus stop waiting for the number 42 to take you off to work. It’s January, it’s chilly, you wish you were still back in bed instead of here like you are every morning. There’s something odd though; the bus shelter has been decorated to look like the Camp Nou and your bench has been transformed into Luis Enrique’s dug out. Suddenly Xavi Hernandez appears on the shelter’s video information screen. Hang on, you can hear the Camp Nou crowd cheering a goal! Then the bus appears and out steps a ref dressed in black to usher you on board. Have you overslept and is this a dream? What was in that coffee you had this morning?

    Well, that’s what must have passed through the minds of the people waiting at the bus stop in Hospitalet on January 29, when their reactions were videoed by a secret camera as part of a promotional activity for Barça Fans .

    You can see the video -'Propera Parada  - as part of the campaign for Barça Fans on the Club’s social media pages from today.

     

    What is Barça Fans?

    The Barça Fans space – which is accessible from the Club website – gives you exclusive contents about the team, such as highlights from Cup and League games, player interviews, polls, prize draws and much, much more

    All content is completely free, all you have to do is register here to enjoy the experience of being a real Barça Fan!


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    (from left to right) May Zhang, Head of IMG Football in China; Jason Hughes, Vice President, Football, IMG; Ignacio Mestre, CEO of FC Barcelona and  Xavier Asensi, Managing Director - Asia Pacific HQ / FCB
    A global leader in sports, media and fashion will exclusively represent the Club’s interests in the Asian giant

    FC Barcelona and IMG have begun a strategic partnership whereby the multinational sports management firm will exclusively represent the commercial interests of the Club in China. The agreement covers marketing and branding strategy, sponsorships, friendlies and travel.

    This agreement strengthens the Club’s presence in the Chinese market, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The Club already has an office for the Asia–Pacific market based in Hong Kong.

    In addition to the Club’s Chinese website, FC Barcelona currently has a strong presence in China via the country’s three biggest social networks: WeChat, Tencent and Sina Weibo. Furthermore, last June the Club and Chinese electronics retailer Suning signed an official sponsorship agreement by which the chain, the largest in China, became the Club’s first official Chinese sponsor.

    IMG

    As a global leader in sports, entertainment and media management, IMG came to China in 1979. Since then, IMG has managed more than 3,000 football, basketball, golf, tennis, fashion and other sporting, cultural and lifestyle events in China. In 2008 IMG formed IMG-CCTV along with China Central Television, the largest television network in the world with a daily reach to more than 1.3 billion people.

    IMG also has a long-term strategic partnership agreement with Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL). This broad partnership includes development of the CSL, improving the management of Chinese football clubs, and advising on the development of global athletic and entertainment programs and event sponsorships. Both IMG and CCTV-IMG have managed, both past and present, several top sports events in China, including, among others, golf’s BMW Asian Open and the Reignwood LPGA Classic, the Shenzen Open and China Open in tennis, or the China Touring Car Championship (CTCC).

    Ignacio Mestre, CEO of FC Barcelona

    "We are impressed by the work IMG has done in developing football in China. It is the perfect partner for a strategic relationship. China is a very important country for us to connect with our fans and continue to be successful, and it is imperative that we work with a company that understands the Chinese market and has a history of success."

     Robbie Henchman, SVP, Head of IMG Asia Pacific

    "FC Barcelona is an iconic football club with a rich history that reaches around the football world. We are very excited at the idea of working with the Club in China."

    "Our unique experience in China will allow the Club to develop its interests in various areas and strengthen FC Barcelona’s already strong presence in a country that we know very well. We have been at the forefront of the growing football industry in China, especially through our work to cultivate and develop the Chinese Super League (CSL) as a strategic partner of La Liga.”


    (from left to right) May Zhang, Head of IMG Football in China; Jason Hughes, Vice President, Football, IMG; Ignacio Mestre, CEO of FC Barcelona and  Xavier Asensi, Managing Director - Asia Pacific HQ / FCB
    A global leader in sports, media and fashion will exclusively represent the Club’s interests in the Asian giant

    FC Barcelona and IMG have begun a strategic partnership whereby the multinational sports management firm will exclusively represent the commercial interests of the Club in China. The agreement covers marketing and branding strategy, sponsorships, friendlies and travel.

    This agreement strengthens the Club’s presence in the Chinese market, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The Club already has an office for the Asia–Pacific market based in Hong Kong.

    In addition to the Club’s Chinese website, FC Barcelona currently has a strong presence in China via the country’s three biggest social networks: WeChat, Tencent and Sina Weibo. Furthermore, last June the Club and Chinese electronics retailer Suning signed an official sponsorship agreement by which the chain, the largest in China, became the Club’s first official Chinese sponsor.

    IMG

    As a global leader in sports, entertainment and media management, IMG came to China in 1979. Since then, IMG has managed more than 3,000 football, basketball, golf, tennis, fashion and other sporting, cultural and lifestyle events in China. In 2008 IMG formed IMG-CCTV along with China Central Television, the largest television network in the world with a daily reach to more than 1.3 billion people.

    IMG also has a long-term strategic partnership agreement with Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL). This broad partnership includes development of the CSL, improving the management of Chinese football clubs, and advising on the development of global athletic and entertainment programs and event sponsorships. Both IMG and CCTV-IMG have managed, both past and present, several top sports events in China, including, among others, golf’s BMW Asian Open and the Reignwood LPGA Classic, the Shenzen Open and China Open in tennis, or the China Touring Car Championship (CTCC).

    Ignacio Mestre, CEO of FC Barcelona

    "We are impressed by the work IMG has done in developing football in China. It is the perfect partner for a strategic relationship. China is a very important country for us to connect with our fans and continue to be successful, and it is imperative that we work with a company that understands the Chinese market and has a history of success."

     Robbie Henchman, SVP, Head of IMG Asia Pacific

    "FC Barcelona is an iconic football club with a rich history that reaches around the football world. We are very excited at the idea of working with the Club in China."

    "Our unique experience in China will allow the Club to develop its interests in various areas and strengthen FC Barcelona’s already strong presence in a country that we know very well. We have been at the forefront of the growing football industry in China, especially through our work to cultivate and develop the Chinese Super League (CSL) as a strategic partner of La Liga.”


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    Messi is the cover boy of the March edition of AFA magazine. / FCB
    The newest issue of the Argentine Football Association's monthly magazine honours the Barça forward

    Leo Messi knows what it's like to grace magazine covers all over the world. His image represents the very best of football, especially in his homeland of Argentina. The world's best player graces the March edition of the Argentine Football Association's monthly magazine, entitled: "Argentinian, thanks to God." The newest issue features an interview with the Barça striker where he discusses, among other things, the Argentina national team. "We're at a special time in our careers," says Messi, referring to the 2015 Copa América, where the favoured sides are “Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and, of course, Argentina.”

    The magazine also delves into Messi’s life in Barcelona, including three Barça images — the moment Messi passed Zarra, as the all-time leading scorer in La Liga; the paintings inspired by Leo that were auctioned off in London for charity; and the iconic image of Barça’s famed trident taken during Barça’s 3–1 league win over Atlético de Madrid. Messi’s Barça line mates Neymar and Luís Suárez also spoke to the magazine. “ It’s easy playing with the best player in the world. It’s an honour for me to be on the same team as my idol,” said Neymar.


    Messi is the cover boy of the March edition of AFA magazine. / FCB
    The newest issue of the Argentine Football Association's monthly magazine honours the Barça forward

    Leo Messi knows what it's like to grace magazine covers all over the world. His image represents the very best of football, especially in his homeland of Argentina. The world's best player graces the March edition of the Argentine Football Association's monthly magazine, entitled: "Argentinian, thanks to God." The newest issue features an interview with the Barça striker where he discusses, among other things, the Argentina national team. "We're at a special time in our careers," says Messi, referring to the 2015 Copa América, where the favoured sides are “Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and, of course, Argentina.”

    The magazine also delves into Messi’s life in Barcelona, including three Barça images — the moment Messi passed Zarra, as the all-time leading scorer in La Liga; the paintings inspired by Leo that were auctioned off in London for charity; and the iconic image of Barça’s famed trident taken during Barça’s 3–1 league win over Atlético de Madrid. Messi’s Barça line mates Neymar and Luís Suárez also spoke to the magazine. “ It’s easy playing with the best player in the world. It’s an honour for me to be on the same team as my idol,” said Neymar.


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    Comunicat FC Barcelona
    The Club does not share the mentioned resoltuion and announces that it will appeal against it

    Futbol Club Barcelona has learned today of Judge Pablo Ruz’s decision to declare his inquiry over and proceed with the foreseen procedures with regard to the Club itself, its president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and it former president, Sandro Rosell.

    On this historic decision, FC Barcelona wishes to make the following statements:

    • First, the Club does not agree with the aforesaid verdict, as indicated by the arguments contained in the documents presented in defence of the said persons, and that basically describe in detail how it is not true that a criminal offence has been committed.
    • Second, in response to the aforesaid verdict, FC Barcelona announces that it shall be appealing against the same, although this announcement must be made notionally, because its representatives have not yet received any formal notification from the Court.
    • Third, it is strange, and breeds uncertainty, that after the Club’s defence should have pressed charges of unsuitability against Judge Ruz yesterday, the judge should settle the case today before the media. It is difficult to understand and could possibly be misconstrued, that on the very same day that the judge formally requests assistance from the Public Ministry that the act whereby the Judge has already resolved this question is announced via the media, without issue of the report or the club being notified of the same.
    • This can only be explained when it is confirmed that all of the judicial resolutions contain, word for word, all of the considerations made by the Ministry of Public Prosecution, without at any time attending to any of the requests made by the parties, or even implementing the procedures requested by the defence.
    • Fourth, the club shall immediately press charges against the unusual speed with which the procedures are being carried out. A speed that does not respect the usual rates for such procedures, nor offers guarantees for the parties, such as, for example, the fact that to date no statement by the FC Barcelona legal representative has been heard, although this had been agreed with the magistrate.
    • The Club, both with regard to this case and other aggressions received in its 115 years of history, will not tolerate such actions, especially when it has offered to collaborate and explain, from the start, all of the events surrounding the transfer of the player Neymar Jr.
    • Finally, FC Barcelona wishes to send out a message of calm to its members and inform them that, if to date it has been especially careful with the ways it has dealt with this unpleasant affair, from now on, and given that the internal dynamics of this difficult affair go beyond the strictly legal sphere, the Club shall be doing everything possible to set matters straight, as it always has done throughout its history, and will continue offering every success possible to its members.

    Barcelona, 13 March 2015


    Comunicat FC Barcelona
    The Club does not share the mentioned resoltuion and announces that it will appeal against it

    Futbol Club Barcelona has learned today of Judge Pablo Ruz’s decision to declare his inquiry over and proceed with the foreseen procedures with regard to the Club itself, its president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and it former president, Sandro Rosell.

    On this historic decision, FC Barcelona wishes to make the following statements:

    • First, the Club does not agree with the aforesaid verdict, as indicated by the arguments contained in the documents presented in defence of the said persons, and that basically describe in detail how it is not true that a criminal offence has been committed.
    • Second, in response to the aforesaid verdict, FC Barcelona announces that it shall be appealing against the same, although this announcement must be made notionally, because its representatives have not yet received any formal notification from the Court.
    • Third, it is strange, and breeds uncertainty, that after the Club’s defence should have pressed charges of unsuitability against Judge Ruz yesterday, the judge should settle the case today before the media. It is difficult to understand and could possibly be misconstrued, that on the very same day that the judge formally requests assistance from the Public Ministry that the act whereby the Judge has already resolved this question is announced via the media, without issue of the report or the club being notified of the same.
    • This can only be explained when it is confirmed that all of the judicial resolutions contain, word for word, all of the considerations made by the Ministry of Public Prosecution, without at any time attending to any of the requests made by the parties, or even implementing the procedures requested by the defence.
    • Fourth, the club shall immediately press charges against the unusual speed with which the procedures are being carried out. A speed that does not respect the usual rates for such procedures, nor offers guarantees for the parties, such as, for example, the fact that to date no statement by the FC Barcelona legal representative has been heard, although this had been agreed with the magistrate.
    • The Club, both with regard to this case and other aggressions received in its 115 years of history, will not tolerate such actions, especially when it has offered to collaborate and explain, from the start, all of the events surrounding the transfer of the player Neymar Jr.
    • Finally, FC Barcelona wishes to send out a message of calm to its members and inform them that, if to date it has been especially careful with the ways it has dealt with this unpleasant affair, from now on, and given that the internal dynamics of this difficult affair go beyond the strictly legal sphere, the Club shall be doing everything possible to set matters straight, as it always has done throughout its history, and will continue offering every success possible to its members.

    Barcelona, 13 March 2015


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    Barça Fans presenta una campanya sorprenent
    Just on Facebook it has already seen 3.5 million plays in only two days and is the most shared publication of 2015

    The video ‘Next Stop: Barça Fans’, the highly original promotional campaign for the online loyalty project for Baça supporters around the world, has become a viral internet sensation. On just the Club’s Facebook page, and in just two days, it has already gathered 3.5 millions plays and has become the most shared publication of 2015. As well, it has been seen some 83,000 times on the Daily Motion and YouTube platforms. The video was only released on Wednesday so that figure is sure to increase in the coming days.

    The ‘Barça Fans’ project is being currently promoted by this ingenious campaign  which surprised hundreds of people just few days ago as they were waiting for a bus in the Hospital de Llobregat area of Barcelona close to Camp Nou. Their usual bus stop had been converted into the FC Barcelona dugout area with an exact replica of the seats used at Barça’s famous ground. Their reactions were filmed by a hidden camera.

    People attracted by the installation became unwitting participants in the recording of unexpected situations: a great ovation for Xavi Hernández on the screen, or a referee asking them to get on the bus after a warm up amongst others.

    All of the events were gathered together for the video that has as its title ‘Next Stop: Barça Fans’ that from this week can be seen via the Club’s social on line channels.


    Barça Fans presenta una campanya sorprenent
    Just on Facebook it has already seen 3.5 million plays in only two days and is the most shared publication of 2015

    The video ‘Next Stop: Barça Fans’, the highly original promotional campaign for the online loyalty project for Baça supporters around the world, has become a viral internet sensation. On just the Club’s Facebook page, and in just two days, it has already gathered 3.5 millions plays and has become the most shared publication of 2015. As well, it has been seen some 83,000 times on the Daily Motion and YouTube platforms. The video was only released on Wednesday so that figure is sure to increase in the coming days.

    The ‘Barça Fans’ project is being currently promoted by this ingenious campaign  which surprised hundreds of people just few days ago as they were waiting for a bus in the Hospital de Llobregat area of Barcelona close to Camp Nou. Their usual bus stop had been converted into the FC Barcelona dugout area with an exact replica of the seats used at Barça’s famous ground. Their reactions were filmed by a hidden camera.

    People attracted by the installation became unwitting participants in the recording of unexpected situations: a great ovation for Xavi Hernández on the screen, or a referee asking them to get on the bus after a warm up amongst others.

    All of the events were gathered together for the video that has as its title ‘Next Stop: Barça Fans’ that from this week can be seen via the Club’s social on line channels.


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