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Barcelona launch e-commerce platform after assuming merchandising control

(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Spanish football club FC Barcelona has launched its own official e-commerce channel for the first time.

Previously its merchandising and retail rights were fully controlled by sportwear giant Nike through its company FCB-Merchandising.

Whilst Nike continues as the club’s kit supplier, Barcelona has reached an agreement to recover these rights and thus launches the new platform via which it will sell around 7,000 club branded products.

Initially, it will be released in Spain only, but the Catalan club plans to expand this across Europe in the coming months.

Via the new channel, fans of the LaLiga defending champions will be able to purchase branded products and exclusive collections, available only at points of sale directly managed by the club.

The move forms part of Barcelona’s wider strategy to regain control of its commercial and merchandising rights, a policy it started to put in place in 2018.

This has seen the organisation create the company Barça Licensing & Merchandising (BLM), with the aim of being able to directly control the more than 7,000 internationally licensed official products and thus consolidate its global expansion.

Oriol Tomàs, vice-president of the commercial area at FC Barcelona, said: “Barça created BLM with the aim of managing its retail business, and from there it was possible to start working on plans for an online sales channel that is now becoming a reality.

“Having a new direct sales channel is a key factor for Barça, for as many fans as possible can now purchase these products, creating a new source of revenue and hence greater profitability, which will help Barça to carry on being a benchmark in an increasingly more competitive environment.”

Didac Lee, the director responsible for Barcelona’s digital area, explained how the platform will help the club with its analysis of its fans, saying: “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”.

Barcelona is currently searching for a naming rights sponsor for its Camp Nou stadium for 2020-21 football season, with the proceeds of this deal set to be donated to those causes aiding those impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.