Things aren’t really going that well at Football Club de Barcelona — both on and off the pitch. The word turmoil shouldn’t be thrown recklessly but Barcelona in the last year has been very much a club in turmoil. The financial turmoil they find themselves in is nothing short of a disaster. On the pitch, things haven’t been going well and their biggest player — Lionel Messi — exited the club in 2021. Yet, Barcelona is looking at the future and want technology to play a crucial role in developing on the field and off the field.
At the Mobile World Congress 2022, Joan Laporta, president, FC Barcelona gave a keynote speech where he spoke about the club’s strategic plan for the future. The commitment to innovation is not only strategic but is an “almost survival issue for the Club,” explained Laporta. Mes Que un Club — More than a Club — is how Barcelona refers to itself as the club doesn’t have a single billionaire owner or a corporate structure but it’s ‘owned’ by members and fans.
FC Barcelona has been one of the first movers in the NFT and Laporta further said that the Club is already working on its own Metaverse. Laporta also confirmed that Barcelona wants to create its own cryptocurrency and also launch NFTs. “There is a new business world, and to compete in it we have to develop a large technology and research department, collaborate with start-up companies, universities, development centres, everything related to the world of innovation,” said the president of FC Barcelona. He said that the Barcelona players know as well that “we are a modern club that uses social networks.” He further said that the club is already putting clauses in players’ contracts “to control this new world of NFT’s, the metaverse… We are already in it,”
How exactly FC Barcelona intend to be a part of the Metaverse is something that Laporta didn’t stress on. But he did say that NFT will be a big part of the club to help the financial situation. Barcelona claims to have a fan base of 300 million all over the world and Laporta says that “Big Data” is what will help connect with them. “’Big Data’ is very important, among other things, to give better products to our followers. We are working with new sponsors, and the NFT will be something technological because it is the new world,” added Laporta in his keynote speech.
The connection with fans through new technologies and new business fields offered by the digital age is for Laporta another of the Club’s priorities. FC Barcelona has Barça Studios, a platform for creating and marketing of audiovisual content. Then there’s eSports, where FC Barcelona has its own teams participating in various competitions.