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FC Barcelona is on top of the football world once again – case of the UEFA Champions League Final and its impact on FC Barcelona’s reputational capital

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Photos: FC Barcelona players celebrating the ‘treble’ achievement (source: official Twitter accounts of FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu, Andrés Iniesta and Neymar Jr.)

Both FC Barcelona and Juventus fought to claim the perfect season in Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final as both teams played to win the ‘treble’. Italian and Spanish teams dominate the winning percentage in Europe’s finest club competition. In 2009, FC Barcelona also won the ‘treble’ and this year they did it again after beating Juventus 3-1 to crown the Catalonian team champions of Europe; this title means that FC Barcelona finds itself on top of the football world once again given the prestige and appeal of the UEFA Champions League title among football fans worldwide.

The global appeal of this tournament and title mirrors a situation in which most of the best supported teams in the world compete at the highest level for an entire season. The tournament displays football finest performances and reflects a given team’s performance strength at a given point in time as a function of the team’s overall performance culture. The final is the climax so the winners of the tournament will enjoy multiple benefits that help to boost the club’s economic power through the mix of capital injections from UEFA’s prize money and market pools along with improved broadcasting value. This will boost the team’s brand equity along with the enhanced player valuations and increased sponsorship potential. In the economic and brand equity evaluation, the winning team can also benefit from increased merchandise sales, gate receipts and concession sales, positive storytelling and the international growth perspective that stems from the trade off between being the champions of the football world and showing off during international pre-season tours and the tourism potential of attracting football fans to the team’s domestic games in the upcoming season (6% of the city’s visitors mention FC Barcelona as the main reason for traveling to the Catalan capital[1]). The local impact whether we are talking socio-economic or psychological impact (pride) is reflected in the 70,000 fans who welcomed the opportunity for a ticket to the celebration event at the Camp Nou Stadium when FC Barcelona arrived in Spain after the final in Berlin.

Looking at Juventus, the Italian team has showed the re-birth of Italian football at the club football’s finest stage. From a commercial angle, the final against FC Barcelona must be a good fit. Although, Juventus lost the final, the club faced a profitable and sporting catalyst in this year’s UEFA Champions League. FC Barcelona is one of the most successful teams in the world on and off the pitch for what reason this will have spill-over effect on Juventus in terms of the articulation that goes with the final.

According to a recent study by Brand Finance[2], FC Barcelona ranks as this year’s most powerful football brand. However, the same study positions FC Barcelona as no. 6 in terms of the most valuable football brands, which seems odd to me given the fact that the Spanish champions of Europe is the football club with the most followers on social media platforms. This is supplemented by the club’s player assets, which are top notch measured on the fabulous MSN-trio, i.e. Messi, Suarez and Neymar and their commercial potential. I acknowledge that Brand Finance’s methodology calculates how the football brand can convert brand strength into future revenues. In that regard, it is evident that the new broadcasting deal for the English Premier League influences the ranking (most of the clubs in the top ten are from the English Premier League). I also acknowledge that it may be essential that the time for the intense (and for Real Madrid and FC Barcelona favorably) polarization of broadcasting revenues in the Spanish La Liga is over. Nevertheless, I assume that FC Barcelona’s position as champions of Europe and the club’s balanced commercial and sporting outlook for the upcoming seasons seems so strong that the potential to secure revenues should position the club higher than no. 6. Let’s see what time will show and how the new broadcasting revenue distribution in Spain will influence FC Barcelona’s revenue generation?

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Infographic: Top 10 most powerful football brands and top 50 most valuable football brands (source: Brand Finance, see link below)

[1] FC Barcelona

[2] Brand Finance

Additional sources on this topic: 

The magnetic appeal of the UEFA Champions League, see here.

UEFA Champions League success means business success, see here.





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