Barcelona team up with Verizon to stream content in the US
“One year ago we opened our Americas office in New York City with the primary goal of bringing the club closer to its millions of fans here,” said Francesco Calvo, head of global business at FC Barcelona. Now the club have partnered with Verizon Mobile in the US in order to cement their place in the country.
For the rest of the season, the two will team up to create bespoke behind-the-scenes videos for US fans of the La Liga club on Verizon’s go90 streaming service. The videos will be based on behind the scenes style content with a series called Inside Barca to be broadcast by the mobile provider.
The content will feature a behind the scenes look at the club with training ground videos and player reaction, but will also have match highlights, previews and commentaries, giving fans a more holistic way of following their club in a variety of different ways.
Recently, we’ve seen just how much clubs and streaming services have come together and although this isn’t the same as Real Madrid’s partnership with Facebook or Juventus’s with Netflix, it does show that the two are becoming natural bedfellows. Although the deals other clubs have made are for longer-form documentary types of content, it’s clear that video that is produced looking at a club from behind the scenes is a winner at the moment, and we should probably expect to see more and more of this type of content over the next months and years.
But it makes you wonder what the next step will be. From a club’s point of view, they want to make content that their fans will enjoy. But looking at it from the angle of a streaming service, this looks like it’s only a first go at teaming up with clubs to create content. In the race to snap up the rights to live sporting events, social media platforms and online streamers are also thinking about the non-live, on-demand strand of their coverage of sport, and it will be interesting to see what comes next.
Perhaps that will lead to different types of content in the future, but for now it looks like the big clubs are thinking about taking the opportunity to invite the cameras into their training grounds to give their fans a glimpse of what’s inside.
But it remains to be seen what other types of content clubs can produce for streaming partners. Last season, plenty of clubs – including Barcelona – experimented with Facebook Live streams of their players warming up before matches, whilst others like Manchester City created their own matchday coverage with post-match analysis of some big games.
It feels like we’re only at the beginning of an era where clubs are creating their own content in partnership with streaming services who can distribute it, allowing clubs to gain worldwide reach and keep their fans all over the globe in touch with the goings-on at the club.
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