Barcelona’s revival on and off the pitch leads to innovation for everyone

This week, FC Barcelona have had a fairly innovative week on social media.

It’s not been the easiest time the club has faced in its long and illustrious history. There have been obvious political issues in Catalonia which has forced the club into a position it, as a business, surely didn’t want to be in. But even aside from that it’s clearly not been easy.

The club looks to have been suffering some sort of decline on the pitch. Lionel Messi is still Lionel Messi, but around him things seem to have gotten stale. The board has come in for criticism recently for their handling of the running of the club, the team lost heavily to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, and although they clawed that huge deficit back thanks to a memorable win in the second leg, they succumbed in the very next round to eventual finalists Juventus. Indeed, Barcelona also surrendered their La Liga title to arch-rivals Real Madrid who also won the Champions League, too.

All in all, it hasn’t been easy. But when you throw into the mix the fact that Neymar was snatched from under their noses by the PSG, you get an unhappy aura around one of the world’s biggest football clubs.

This all despite the fact that the team are now top of the division and are also top of their Champions League group. It shows that context, then, is very much required.

Perhaps that’s why the club saw fit to make a social media play this week around one of their most recognisable players, Andres Iniesta. The genius midfielder signed a new contract this week, something which always gets clubs going and allows them to toast a great player with their fans. But there was something different about this one: Iniesta didn’t just sign a new three-year contract with Barcelona. He signed ‘for life’.

That gave the club the chance to live-stream the renewal, giving fans the opportunity to watch their hero at his meeting and see him answer questions about the club.

The whole stream lasted over an hour, and it can be viewed back on the club’s YouTube channel.

Perhaps the backdrop to Iniesta’s contract renewal shows why this is so important for the club, though. Given the difficult period they’ve had on and off the field, clearly this is a big moment: Andres Iniesta is giving his backing to the club and all that goes with it, and his decision to stay is something they clearly want to shout about. Of course, fans will now want to see a lot more live-streaming where that came from!

Barcelona were also active on Instagram this week, taking to Instagram to poll their fans on a variety of different questions, engaging with them on a new medium – or at least, an existing platform in a new way.

It’s been an interesting few weeks for Barcelona. They’ve had to battle through some difficult periods but they’ve come out of the other side in a great standing in the tables of their various competitions and now perhaps they’re in a position to be innovative for their fans. And that’s great news everyone, really.

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 831 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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