Not Only Spotify - Barcelona Kits to Feature Changing Logos
Update: Bleacher report have created some great illustrations featuring different shirt artists as shirt sponsors for Barcelona's 22-23 home, away and third kits.
Spotify’s recently confirmed deal with Barcelona could be a game changer in terms of shirt sponsorship, as the music streaming service have alluded to several interesting approaches they will be taking throughout their first partnership with a football club. Different sponsor logos on their shirts throughout the season are likely, but there could be much more than that to come, as they strive to “bring the worlds of football and music together”.
All quotes in this article come from Spotify’s Chief Freemium Business Officer, Alex Norström.
Changing Sponsor Logos
The most interesting prospect from a football shirt fan’s point of view is the possibility of different logos appearing on the shirt throughout the season. Logos is probably not the right word to use here, as Spotify say:
Spotify and FC Barcelona will work together to create opportunities for the iconic shirt to be a space that celebrates artists from across the world. As shirt sponsor, Spotify will work to create a new platform to amplify artist voices. We think this can be more than just a Spotify logo on a shirt.
Could we see photos of artists or album covers on the Blaugrana shirts? Or possibly Spotify codes that bring you to a new track or album when scanned? Obviously the match worn kits will be where most of this chopping and changing will be visible, but selling replica kits to fans with an option of which artist appears on their shirt would really be revolutionary, and probably reach new markets of music fans who may not previously had an in interest football shirts.
The closest thing to this we have seen in the past was Atletico Madrid's deal with Columbia Pictures back in the mid 2000s. Their shirts were adorned with the stylised titles of various films in the run up to their releases. Something similar to this would generate huge interest and attention, working in Barcelona's favour and obviously also that of Spotify.
And for fans—both music and Barça fans—we’ll be creating more interactive and exciting experiences to connect with the artists they love.
The ”interactive” aspect mentioned in the quote above supports the theory of scannable codes featuring on the kit, but more than likely also applies to other initiatives that Spotify have in the works that are not directly linked to the shirts. Social media campaigns are a big part in any modern day sponsorship deal, and with Spotify being the number one platform for music streaming, they are surely no slouches in the online marketing department. They no doubt have plenty of ideas on how the deal can work off the pitch and online as well.
Geo-Targeting from inside the Stadium
We’ve always used our marketing as a platform for artists, so it’s adding another huge stage, literally a stadium, to help artists interact with fans around the world. Barça’s games attract a huge, global viewership per season and we’re looking forward to working with them to connect artists to this audience.
One non-kit related element of any sponsorship deal is pitchside advertising. In nearly all top level stadiums, old fashioned advertising hoarding has become a thing of the past, making way for digital boards with moving, changing ads. The next step is augmented reality advertising, as seen in the video below.
I just learned augmented reality advertisement is a thing now. 🤯Because why should you sell ad space only once, when you can sell it per TV channel, streaming service, country etc?😬 pic.twitter.com/8NfFrI0ZLP— svbl (@svblxyz) July 3, 2021
This essentially means that tv viewers will see different advertisements depending on where in the world they are, what channel they are watching the match on, etc. As music tastes and trends differ hugely around the world, Spotify can really use this to their advantage and target their audiences in different parts of the world with the artists that are most popular in those regions. Their algorithms already do an incredible job at identifying individual music listeners’ tastes, so this could be along the same lines but on a much larger scale.
For example, using the dynamic digital displays to showcase and geo-target relevant artists to Barça’s global TV audience. While viewers in Europe may see a message about one artist, TV viewers in India could be served a different and locally relevant message.
The Shirt Sponsorship of the Future
Something that would be another huge leap forward would be the use of this technology to digitally alter the logos that fans see on the player shirts. Check out the video below showing an NBA jersey where the name and number can be modified automatically.
This technology surely has advertising potential, and was more than likely created with this in mind. If Spotify applied this to Barcelona’s shirts, the possibilities would be endless. This is no doubt in the pipeline, but how close we are to seeing this being used on football jerseys is unclear.
Promoting Equality and New Artists
Spotify’s Equal campaign aimed to help reduce the discrepancy between the disproportionate number of successful female music artists there are in the industry compared to their male counterparts. The fact that their deal is with both FCB's men’s and women’s teams shows their commitment to promoting equality, and gives them even more scope for future campaigns.
If you think about how we’ve used our marketing platforms in the past, which regularly spotlight new and female artists through our EQUAL and RADAR programs, you can get a sense of the approach we’ll be thinking about for the partnership.
Radar was another project that hoped to bring new talent to the forefront of the music world. Both of these initiatives were about more than just promoting the hottest names and chart toppers, and this is something Spotify say they want to continue with the Barcelona partnership. Maybe we shouldn’t be expecting to see only established household names on the shirts, although there will probably be a mixture of well-known and lesser known musicians featured.
Awaiting Final Approval
From everything that’s been revealed about the partnership so far, it’s clear that Spotify have got big plans, maybe even revolutionary for the world of football sponsorship. One final hurdle remains before they can start to implement these plans and that is getting the green light for everything from FC Barcelona themselves.
The partnership plans are subject to the ratification of the Barcelona Members’ Assembly, which will take place in early April.
Getting this final approval may seem like a formality, but Barcelona have been known to reject proposals relating to the club’s visual image before. Back in 2018, a redesigned crest had been revealed by the club, only for president Bartomeu to veto the change the day before the Members Assembly was to vote on it.
If the assembly isn't convinced by some of Spotify’s proposals for the shirts, they may vote against them and Spotify may have to alter their plans. For a deal of this scale however, all plans were probably discussed during negotiations, so the propositions shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to the members' assembly, so the members may have their minds made up already.
This partnership should prove to be one of the most interesting in the game, as well as the most effective. It doesn’t officially start until July, but Spotify have already gained a lot of publicity from it. It will be very interesting to see how all of their plans play out and how this could influence shirt sponsorship going forward.
How would you like to see Spotify use Barcelona’s shirts? Let us know in the comments.