Spanish football club Barcelona launched an eCommerce store to help expand its wider retail operations. The store will be open to all Spanish shoppers and gradually expand to other countries. Several of the products online were previously only available at the stadium store and other official shops around the world.
According to Didac Lee, Barcelona’s Digital Director, “This direct sales channel is also a new form of contact with our fans that will help us get to know them better and understand their tastes and preferences.” Other sporting arenas and clubs can take this expansion into the digital sphere as another way to gain deeper insights about what products or services fans want. Furthermore, digital connection with fans keeps engagement high and the brand top of mind despite not being able to physically experience the stadium energy.
Items purchased from iconic stadiums will always be a point of pride for fans, but losing this revenue is forcing stadiums and teams to re-think their approach. Making these unique items publicly available is a trade-off between in-stadium merchandising power and rebuilding lost revenues. Making stadium-only merchandise publicly available risks losing brand exclusivity. But, perhaps it’s the online world that is in fact the new stadium, and embracing this approach may prove the difference in surviving this difficult period.
Contributed by: Michael Krog, Senior Integrated Planner, Integer London
Image Source: Unsplash