FC Barcelona is negotiating a deal with streaming service Spotify that could see the Swedish company become the owners of the naming rights of the Camp Nou stadium. Spotify also plans to replace Japanese electronics producer Rakuten as Barcelona’s main shirt sponsor starting this summer.
If signed, the deal could be worth between $65 million and $75 million per year, according to Radio Catalunya. Rakuten has announced they will not extend their current sponsorship deal beyond the end of the current campaign. The talks between Barcelona and Spotify started back in October, after the platform’s co-founder Daniel Ek failed in his attempt to buy Arsenal. With Arsenal supporters unhappy with the Kroenke Family’s handling of club matters, Ek, a self-proclaimed life-long Gunners fan, tried to become the majority shareholder at the Emirates with no success.
Barcelona has faced big financial problems over the past year which saw the Catalans lose the likes of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann. The club is keen to enter a partnership with Spotify, a world-renowned company. Barca would want a 15-year deal for the sale of the Camp Nou naming rights, while Spotify is looking at a shorter period for the contract. Apart from the money involved, Barcelona expects to gain no fewer than 800 million followers on its social channels as a result of the agreement.
Tencent, a Chinese technology and entertainment business, as well as cryptocurrency firms Vegan and Polkadot, are also interested in a privileged partnership with Barcelona. It’s said that the club’s favorite option remains Spotify.
Camp Nou was inaugurated in 1957 and can hold up to 100k people.
To be or not to be in the Champions League
Barcelona is currently fifth in the Spanish La Liga, with 35 points, a point behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid. If the Blaugrana fail to gain access among the best-placed four clubs at the end of the season, they could miss out on next year’s Champions League.
Their other way in is by winning the Europa League, European football’s second-best club competition, where they dropped after finishing third in the Champions League group-stage this season.
The bookies don’t regard it as unlikely for Barcelona to finish outside the top four in La Liga (+140). The Catalans making the cut is at -200. Barcelona winning the Europa League stands at +400.