Barcelona launch e-commerce platform after taking back merchandising rights
Spanish soccer giants FC Barcelona have launched their own official e-commerce platform after regaining control of their merchandising and retail rights.
The club's rights were previously controlled by US sportswear giant Nike through its company FCB-Merchandising.
Barcelona said they had reached an agreement with Nike, which will continue as the club’s kit supplier, to recover their merchandising and retail rights.
The newly-launched platform will sell around 7,000 club branded products and exclusive collections. It will initially be released in Spain only, but the club plans to expand it across Europe in the coming months.
The move is part of Barcelona’s wider strategy to regain control of their commercial and merchandising rights, a policy they started to put into place in 2018.
The policy has led to the club creating the company Barca Licencing and Merchandising, with the aim of being able to directly control the internationally licenced official products.
Oriol Tomas, vice-president of the Barcelona Commercial Area, said: “The launch of the new official e-commerce channel at the Barca Store Camp Nou is a very important milestone for FC Barcelona, as it means a new step forward toward its goal of expanding and internationalising its retail business, which already involves its own network of six physical points of sale.
“Barca created BLM with the aim of managing its retail business, and from there it was possible to start working on plans for an online sales channel that is now becoming a reality.”
Didac Lee, director of Barcelona Digital Area, added: “The launch of the e-commerce service at Barca Store Camp Nou is one of the essential pieces in the new ecosystem of digital service and projects that FC Barcelona is developing within its digital strategy.
“It is one of the cornerstones of this unique ecosystem that we are sure will be an increasingly more important part of the club and is one of a series of projects that Barca is working on, and that we are sure are here to stay for the coming years, and will be developed and adapted to different future contexts.”
Last month, Barcelona president Jordi Bartomeu said the club does not expect to hit its projected record revenue of €1 billion ($1.1 billion) for this year and will instead suffer a “significant decrease” in income because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The club’s players have agreed to take a 70 per cent pay cut to help the club during this period, which is likely to save the defending LaLiga champions around €16 million per month.
Barcelona is currently searching for a naming rights sponsor for its Camp Nou stadium for the 2020-21 season, with the proceeds set to be donated to causes aiding those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.