SBC’s On The Ball: Barcelona, Newcastle and La Liga growth

From sponsorship to the ever-expanding world of football media coverage, when it comes to the business of football, SBC has you covered. This edition looks at a new potential buyer for Newcastle United and record breaking results for Barcelona.

Barca’s billions

Issuing financial results for the 2017/18 season, Spanish champions Barcelona have become the first team to reach $1bn in revenues.

The club’s superb off field performance and continued digital growth, also meant it reported club record revenue for the fifth consecutive period.

The club commented on how the clubs has economically benefited from the record breaking sale of Neymar to PSG: “The extraordinary income from payment of Neymar Jr.’s buyout clause has been compensated in next year’s budget through improved commercial and sponsorship revenue, media rights, exploitation of the stadium and transfer of players.”

On the pitch fortunes have been mixed for the Catalan club this season, coming off the back of a couple of mixed La Liga results by defeating Spurs at Wembley in the week.

New owner for the Toon?

Newcastle United fans have been given another glimmer of hope with regards to Mike Ashley selling up and finding a new owner for the club.

This could come in the form of ex Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive, Peter Kenyon who is reportedly forming a consortium with ambitions of acquiring the club from Ashley. In his current role, Kenyon is a director at sports consultancy business, Opto Advisors.

In spite of it appearing the Kenyon is a viable option as the future owner of Newcastle, Toon fans will be understandably skeptical about Ashley’s willingness to sell, after the previously touted sale of the club to businesswoman to Amanda Staveley fell apart, due to Ashley’s £400m price tag on the club.

Eleven Sports defies longstanding FA rule with Barca broadcast

Having previously voiced its aggravation at not being able to show games live in the UK between 2.45pm and 5.15pm, UK online platform broadcaster Eleven Sports defied the rule by broadcasting live coverage of Barcelona’s clash with Athletic Bilbao at 3:15pm on the 29th of September.

The rule has been in place in the UK since the 1960s and is enforced to safeguard attendances in lower league domestic football. However, having acquired the rights to Serie A and La Liga Eleven has continued to voice its disagreement at the rule.

On the opening day of the season, after the broadcaster was forced to delay the much anticipated Serie A debut of Cristiano Ronaldo, it issued the following message on its site: “No other countries outside the UK and Montenegro apply this rule. We disagree with it and we will continue to challenge it with the best interests of our customers at heart.”

Russian betting company unveils new La Liga partnership

Fonbet has become the Official Partner of the Spanish LaLiga for the next three seasons, with ground-breaking activations and brand promotion beginning this year through Project11.

This agreement is unique for the Russian betting company, as for the first time they are benefitting from the status of being an Official Partner of one of the best football leagues in the world.

In the framework of this cooperation, Fonbet branding will be seen throughout the games of the best teams in Spain; FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. As part of this sponsorship, many exciting activations have been prepared for Fonbet clients and football fans, including valuable prize giveaways and online activities.

Alina Yakirevich, Marketing Director of the bookmaker Fonbet, commented: “It is important for us to become a partner of the strongest football League in the world. Last season’s ratings showed that in Russia, LaLiga is one of the greatest interests to the audience. This season we have planned several joint activities with the League, including a trip to El Clasico for our clients. Fonbet offers a wide variety of events through the League. We are confident that this will be a long-term and effective partnership with LaLiga.”

Scott Taylor, Partner at Project11 added: “A fantastic signing for LaLiga and Fonbet alike. Growing the league’s global fan base and reach year on year, this enhances the timely and close relationship between both LaLiga and Project11. Working with the Fonbet team and LaLiga’s partnership team is a pleasure, maximising the activation and experience for Fonbet in its chosen region. Project11 continues its growth in placing partners both with LaLiga and in global sports, complemented by its significant perimeter advertising rights.”