A few weeks ago I traveled to Barcelona to attend my first ever match at the Nou Camp. The plan was to not only enjoy a great game of football but to take a look at the business side of this fantastic club.
The first day started with a tour of the stadium followed by a visit to the merchandising shop. The second day involved the build up to the match and the game itself.
– Large merchandising store at the ground which consists of 3 floors for men, women and kids products. There is a wide selection of products from Replicia kits to leisure range to various accessory items.
– Tapas bar at the entrance to the stadium. This provided fans with a place to go either on match day or during a visit to the museum/stadium tour on non-match days.
– Fans village area consisting of the retail outlet, ticket kiosk and various food and beverage stands
– Brilliant stadium tour and museum with interactive areas throughout the tour
– Merchandising and ticketing outlets in the city centre and airport
– Lots of posters and LED advertising and promoting the up and coming game throughout the city and transport network
– Free WiFi in the fans village area
Areas of improvement
– Better fans engagement programme both inside and outside the stadium during match days
– Collecting of fans data within the merchandising outlets. A profile of the fans can then be developed with targeted communications sent on a regular basis.
– Social hub or platform for Barca fans – allowing fans to engage with each other and the club. Also this way the club would own the conversation and not a mainstream social network!
– Better range of food for the fans inside the stadium
– WiFi coverage inside the stadium would provide tech savvy fans with a chance to send photos and videos to their followers and engage with the club directly.
– Use of beacon technology to engage with fans both inside and outside the stadium
Overall I had a fantastic time pre the game and match day. Clubs can learn a lot from the likes of #FCBarcelona both on and off the pitch but I felt the club could do more for the fans on match day.
Geoff runs his own Sports Consultancy, working with clients such as FIFA across the world. He is also on the board of Tourism Northern Ireland. You can follow Geoff on twitter @geoffwnjwilson or connect on Linkedin at www.linkedin.com/in/geoffwnjwilson