If right now, you dear reader asked football fans their second favourite club, chances are you will hear the name Barcelona. For fans of a certain age, the period of football from 2008 to 2015 will forever be synonymous with the Catalan giants and their favourite sons, Lionel Messi, Pep Guardiola and Carles Puyol to name just a few.
Bar supporting a certain team wearing white in Spain from Madrid, it was hard to dislike Barcelona. Their success and style of football on the field speak for themselves, but off the field their approach to sport was admirable.
Barcelona’s shirt was donned by charity UNICEF as opposed to a corporate giant, they sought to promote from within in their team rather than shell out ever stupendous amounts of money on players and showcase Catalan greatness and rejected the corporate imperialism from the outside world.
But in 2022, it is a far different story. While former player turned manager Xavi Hernandez has steadied the ship on the field, off the field the club has been in financial freefall. But that could be set to change thanks to the large green tech giant known as Spotify.
For the small price of £236 million, Spotify will have the title rights to the Camp Nou and shirt sponsorship for the foreseeable future after Barca’s deal with Rakuten runs out at the end of this season. A stark increase from the £55 million Rakuten are paying at the moment.
For those well versed in the Sports business world, Spotify’s interest in football is no suprise. In April 2021, following protests at Arsenal due to the ownership of Stan Kroenke, Spotify owner Daniel Ek flirted with the idea of buying the club and admitted he himself was an Arsenal fan.
While a deal never materialised, the wheels for Spotify’s move into football had been put in motion.
In many ways, Spotify is a fitting sponsor. A global, well-recognised, leader of their field, much like Barcelona plan to be once again. For Barca fans, or Cules as they’re known, the deal is a major win in getting back to the big time.
Yet this isn’t just a win for the Catalan based club, or Spanish football but a win for football.