FC Barcelona are more noted for their success on the soccer pitch, but it seems that they are becoming even more involved in the world of esports, and that needn’t be a bad thing. It turns out that back in 2019, the club decided to create their own esports arm, and this is something that has been a major success.
Tapping into the Asian Market
According to those in the know, FC Barcelona came to the realization that the Asian market was one area where their club could be performing better. They understood that the world of esports has gone through a substantial boom in Asia, so it made sense to combine the two by focusing on esports with the FC Barcelona branding attached.
Out of the global esports industry, it’s the Asian market that is the leader in both viewing figures as well as revenue. Participation is at an all-time high, and all of that is positive news for FC Barcelona.
Three Different Games
As part of their strategy, FC Barcelona field teams in three different games. Unsurprisingly, eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer is one of those games while the other two are Rocket League and Blizzard’s Hearthstone.
Of course, each game brings with it the chance to open up their brand to more players, and then there’s the income. With increased revenue linked to tournaments, it hasn’t taken long for the soccer club to effectively allow their esports arm to run independently of the team. In saying that, they do apparently share a number of factors with the club.
A New Esports Team Structure
Those individuals that form part of the different teams are being treated like athletes. That means they need to train, eat right, be healthy and to prepare both physically and mentally for their tournaments.
Also, throw in the fact that FC Barcelona has kept the idea of team management, to manage the brand name within this industry, deal with social media, and even interacting with fans, and you see how they are taking all this seriously. Of course, the players are easy to identify thanks to the FC Barcelona strips, but that’s part of the branding.
Not the First
FC Barcelona are not the first soccer club in Europe to realize the power of esports. AS Roma in Italy, Ajax from the Netherlands, PSG in France, and several in Germany have all created their own esports arm. Each one knows the power of marketing and branding within esports, so FC Barcelona have been a bit slow in reacting. In saying that, they have stolen a march on their arch rivals Real Madrid who have so far not appeared to be too concerned about the role of esports and the potential.
So, what can you expect for the future and this combination of esports and a huge soccer club? Well, FC Barcelona are aiming to win the tournaments they enter, but that’s no surprise. They have invested time, cash and effort into building their teams, but the outcome is a huge increase in awareness of FC Barcelona, as well as a swell of interest in esports.