Barça and Telefónica I+D have formed an alliance by signing a pioneering agreement on a global scale that will improve fans’ experiences in the stadium and apply science and technology to the sports world.
World leaders in social networks
No other club in the world has as many followers. FC Barcelona is the world leader on social
networks, with almost 18 million Facebook fans and more than 2.5 million Twitter followers (on its
three official accounts, @fcbarcelona_cat, @fcbarcelona_es and @fcbarcelona. This project will
therefore complement and expand the experience of the ‘Barça sentiment’, allowing all
fans and followers to tell the world what is happening in the stadium in real time.
FC Barcelona and Telefónica I+D’s agreement means the Camp Nou will be used as the testing
ground for new and innovative technologies. As explained by president Sandro Rosell, "Barça seeks
excellence. Sporting excellence and also excellence in new technologies”. Rosell signed
today’s agreement along with the director general of Telefónica in Catalonia, Kim Faura, the
director of Telefónica’s R+D centre in Barcelona, Pablo Rodríguez, and Barça’s director
of new technologies, Dídac Lee, at Torre Telefónica, the telecommunications company’s
headquarters in Catalonia.
Global pioneering agreement
The alliance will be implemented over three years in two main areas of
collaboration: the incorporation of digital instruments to improve fans’ experiences in the
Camp Nou and the application of science to the sports world. The former is based on social networks
being increasingly present among viewers of Barcelona matches. For example, for the final at
Wembley, more than 6,000 Twitter messages were sent a second and Barça received more than a million
mentions around the world. This agreement, “the first in the world” according to Dídac
Lee, will make FC Barcelona’s stadium the first venue to be used to test and improve new
wireless and networked technologies to improve telephone coverage and provide the finest access for
the use of social networks.
The latter involves the creation of a Doctorate in Science and Sport to study how scientific
methods can be applied to improving performances in competitions in all sports.
La Masía of innovation
This agreement will not cost the club anything. A team of 20 researchers will work
on implementing the agreement and the creation of the Doctorate in the company’s Barcelona
centre. Telefónica invests an annual figure of 4,814 million euros in technological innovation, and
is one of the European multinationals that spends the most on R+D. Telefónica’s Barcelona
centre has set new standards that Rosell compares to his club’s own training centre when he
says "the best Masía for innovation is in Barcelona and it is Telefónica I + D".