LBS and Mobile Marketing and Business Development

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Barca: Beating Real on the Pitch Is Only Stage One...

Why F.C. Barcelona are taking the battle to the boardroom, and beating Real Madrid

These are good times for F.C. Barcelona. The world’s favourite team* has just won Spain’s La Liga title, and an incredible six pieces of silverware from the last two seasons alone.

Fans and critics alike are lauding Pep Guardiola’s team as the best ever, with its breathtaking blend of sexy football, individual and team brilliance, and a hunger that is second to none.

But it’s not just on the pitch where Guardiola’s men are triumphant. Off the pitch, the Messi’s and Ineista’s of the corporate box are weaving their own quick-footed blend of business artistry: taking on the likes of Man United, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich – and winning all over again.

MeetTheBoss.TV has secured a rare interview with Lander Unzueta, Chief Marketing Officer, F.C. Barcelona: the man charged with making reality of Barça’s strapline, ‘més que un club’ (more than a club).

Lander has plans to make this the most recognizable sporting brand on earth. And he’s not far off.

He believes the sports industry has evolved “too much” over the last ten years, and that it is indigestion, not starvation, that poses the biggest threat. Too many opportunities, too many sponsors, and players’ wages going through the roof. F.C. Barcelona have adapted well, with a strong and clear direction, and invested in strong assets.

“Stadium development has been key. A stadium is no longer a place where teams play, or athletes run, they are venues to hold big concerts and social, cultural activities,” says Lander.

“This has been a big revenue growth for us. F.C. Barcelona is more than just a football club. It’s a theme park, we have an arena, several pitches and a stadium; we even have an ice hockey rink.”

What about the cult of the player? With obscene wages still being paid in a global recession, and players’ antics filling the tabloids, how can Lander – or anyone – protect a football club’s brand?

Lander believes passion is key – and to always keep an eye on the long-term goal: to become “more than a club around the world”. Unlike most clubs, Barça have no lucrative shirt sponsor. Instead, it spends US$2 million a year to have UNICEF’s logo grace the beloved shirt, believing this creates a culture of responsibility and obligation to those less fortunate.

With giants such as Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Manchester United, and Real Madrid sure to up the stakes on the pitch next season, F.C. Barcelona’s clear identity and altruistic ideals hold the secret to its success.

“We are at the top, without using our jersey sponsor and without putting a sponsor’s name in writing on our stadium,” says Lander. Which means there’s plenty more money to come…

To see this interview in full, visit Registration is fast and free.

*According to a recent survey by


More Stories By John Funnell

John Funnell has worked in online media for over ten years, after achieving his First Class BSC Hons Degree (BBC Sponsored), John won Bos 18-21 Princess Trust Entrepeneur of the year at 21, setting up Clean Living Records Ltd (including with great success having many acts that charted in Europe and Canada. After selling the business John looked for a new challenge and joined GDS International, having a successful career in sales and Delegate acquisition, he worked up to Event Director EMEA, forging contacts with some of the biggest technology names in the world, this lead to John having a lead role in the creation of and – the worlds largest business IPTV channel. John then took over as Marketing and Communications Director and ran a multifaceted global Marketing team for GDS International in New York, Sydney, Kuala Lumper and the UK.. John joined Global in 2011 with the challenge of supporting its growth by developing a solid Marketing foundation through various Digital, PR and brand initiatives.