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Barcelona confirm expansive ‘€280m’ Spotify sponsorship deal

Four-year partnership secures Swedish audio giant front of shirt branding and stadium naming rights.

16 March 2022 Ed Dixon

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  • Stadium to be rebranded as Spotify Camp Nou
  • Contract includes sponsorship of Barca’s training kit for the next three seasons
  • Spotify also take on shirt sponsorship of women’s team

Spanish soccer giants Barcelona have confirmed audio streaming platform Spotify as their new main partner, inking a four-year sponsorship deal beginning from the 2022/23 season.

The expansive agreement will see Spotify take over from Japanese ecommerce firm Rakuten as Barca’s front of shirt sponsor for the club’s men’s and women’s teams. The Swedish company will also sponsor Barca’s training shirts for the next three seasons.

In addition, and for the first time in the LaLiga club’s history, Barca’s famous stadium will be rebranded as Spotify Camp Nou. The venue is due to be renovated at an estimated cost of US$1.7 billion, after Barca members voted in favour of the project in December.

The deal, which has been approved and signed by Barca’s board of directors, remains subject to the ratification of the extraordinary delegate members assembly that will take place on 3rd April.

The value of the partnership has not been disclosed, but Catalan radio station RAC1, which initially reported that a deal was close last month, said the arrangement would be worth €280 million (US$308 million), equating to €70 million (US$77 million) per season.

In addition to securing shirt and stadium branding, Spotify has been named Barca’s official audio streaming partner. This will see the pair work together to fuse the worlds of music and soccer by giving a global platform to players and artists at the Nou Camp. Barca and Spotify also plan to create further opportunities to connect artists and players with fans around the world.

“This partnership will allow us to continue to bring the club closer to its fans and make them feel, even more, part of the Barca family through unique experiences, combining two activities such as entertainment and football, making it possible for us to connect with new audiences around the world,” said Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

Alex Norström, chief freemium business officer at Spotify, added: “From July, our collaboration will offer a global stage to artists, players and fans at the newly-branded Spotify Camp Nou. We have always used our marketing investment to amplify artists and this partnership will take this approach to a new scale. We’re excited to create new opportunities to connect with FC Barcelona’s worldwide fanbase.”

The addition of Spotify will be a welcome boost for the Barca hierarchy as they deal with the club’s enormous debt, which ballooned to €1.35 billion (US$1.48 billion) in August. However, the decision to rebrand the iconic Nou Camp is likely to rile some fans already disillusioned by the club’s poor form. Barca are currently third in LaLiga, 15 points behind arch rivals Real Madrid, and missed out on the knockout stages of this season’s Uefa Champions League for the first time in 17 years.

The Spotify pact also looks to have caused friction among the club’s senior leadership team. In February, Barca chief executive Ferran Reverter resigned after only seven months, with ESPN reporting that the deal was the last straw for the former MediaMarktSaturn boss.

Reverter was reportedly unhappy with the final terms of the Spotify deal, many of which had been revised at the last minute, which further strained his relationship with Laporta.

The tie-up has also been announced in the same week that LaLiga released its updated spending caps, with Barca’s now set at minus €144 million (US$158 million). It is the only club in the Spanish top flight with a negative number.

It means that while Barca can still sign players, they can only register them to play if the club makes significant savings and sales, equating to four times as much as spending.

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