My #Barca Experience!

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Recently I travelled to watch Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

It was a great match and fantastic to watch Messi live in action but what about my overall experience as a spectator?

The following provides an overview of some thoughts during my visit and journey to the stadium;

– No email was sent the week of the game. I would have thought an email containing all the key information would have been a basic necessity from the marketing department at the club (especially since we were coming from outside Spain). This email could include a welcome message, how to get to the stadium from the airport, where my seats are located, food on offer at the stadium etc.

– On the day of the match, we did receive an email regarding free access to watch the Barca B team play a few hours after the first team game. This email provided free access to the game. Great idea!

– There was a supporters helpdesk and first aid areas at the stadium. These are great areas which were well sign posted.

– Limited fans engagement around the stadium before the match. That was my biggest surprise! There was no sponsor activation or fans entertainment organised by the club in the build-up of the match.

– There was a lack of club branding inside the concourse areas.

– The range of food inside the stadium was limited ie hot dogs, crisps and donuts etc.

– I didn’t see any match day programmes on sale around the stadium. Surely this is a potential revenue stream for the club as well as a platform to communicate key messages to the fans.

– Excellent singing section with drums and flags in one area of the stadium. This supporters section controlled and kept the atmosphere going during the game.

– Seat numbers were confusing. For example the row I was sitting in was numbered 1.3.5.7!

– Huge queues for the toilets as well as the food outlets. This needs looked at in terms of reducing the length of the queues.

– WiFi existed in the stadium but poor quality in terms of strength of signal. The club did collect data on sign up which is great.

– Away fans were held in a small area at very top of the stadium. Poor seats with netting around the tribune. Not very welcoming!

– Personalised names were offered on the back of purchasing a shirt in the club shop. Nice ‘up sale’ to generate additional revenue for the club.

– Great selection of merchandising in the club shop. Staff have been trained to upsell printing on the back of shirts and to purchase additional products such as Barca bags . Staff also asked where I was from but no data capture.

Recommendations

– Send personalised ‘welcome email’ to the supporter one week before the match. For example, if you are travelling from outside of Spain, inform the spectators of key transportation details to the stadium.
– Consider developing a fans engagement programme at home matches pre, during and post matches.
– Consider improving the range of food.
– Consider ways to reduce queues in the toilet and food outlets.
– Consider brand opportunities inside the concourses at the stadium which tells the Barca story.
– Collect data in the club shop.
– Review seat numbers in each rows.
– Review the away section in the stadium.

Geoff runs his own Sports Consultancy, working with clients such as FIFA, UEFA and FIBA across the world. He is also on the board of Tourism Northern Ireland. You can follow Geoff on twitter @geoffwnjwilson or connect on Linkedin at linkedin.com/in/geoffwnjwilson

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