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FC Barcelona + Barca Academy

ISL helps FC Barcelona to break into the North American market.

FC Barcelona needed help to extend their brand into the North American soccer market. To achieve this, they entrusted ISL to create an integrated management and marketing strategy that would spread the Barça name through Soccer Camps and Schools. 

In just three years, ISL grew participation in FC Barcelona’s Camps and Schools by 1,470%, firmly establishing the club in the United States.

Client:

FC Barcelona

Location:

United States

Year:

2015-2018

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The Client

Barcelona Football Club (FC Barcelona, FCB) is one of the largest clubs in the world, and #4 on Forbes list of most valuable sports teams worth over $4.064 billion.

Having won the European Champions League five times and their domestic league 25 times, Barcelona is one of the most successful clubs in the world. World famous football stars have made their names at the legendary Camp Nou ground, from Johan Cruyff to Lionel Messi, and Ronaldinho to Neymar.

The Challenge

Penetration into North America’s vastly differing soccer market presented a set of challenges to FC Barcelona which required a strong global partner.

They needed to strategically extend the Barça brand, and transmit the club’s philosophy of hard work and values, but were unable to gain traction for their Soccer Camps and Schools (Barça Academy). The club hadn’t managed to develop systems that applied to the unique requirements of the American soccer market.

The Solution

ISL worked on behalf of FC Barcelona to host Soccer Camps and FCBEscolas across North America. 

The campaign started with Soccer Camps; week long events aimed at boys and girls between 6 and 16 years, and coached by FC Barcelona Technical Directors. 

From this basis, ISL managed a strategic plan to extend the Camps and begin year round FCBEscolas. The Escolas are football academies that follow the FC Barcelona model, providing integral training to both boys and girls.

ISL helped FC Barcelona reach its North American market penetration goals by providing:

  • User experience was a principal focus as ISL crafted every project element for the club. 
  • Across the country, each FCBEscola was strategically developed and executed to ensure a seamless event.
  • ISL owned the responsibility to manage and foster the FCB brand, treating it with the same care and attention as if it were their own.
  • An extensive nationwide marketing strategy was employed to build awareness, drive website traffic, and entice visitors to purchase.
  • By listening to FCB’s specific requirements, ISL was able to strategically advise the club on the best plan to penetrate the soccer market.

The Results

Since ISL took over the management of the Camps and FCBEscolas in 2015, both brands have witnessed rapid growth throughout North America.

  • 2015 – 5 Camps
  • 2016 – 10 Camps, 1 FCBEscola
  • 2017 – 28 Camps, 5 FCBEscolas
  • 2018 – 36 Camps, 6 FCBEscolas

Soccer Camps now extend from San Francisco to Boston, and FCBEscolas run from San Diego to Chicago to Charlotte.

Both brands have enjoyed significant web and social traffic growth as a result of ISL’s digital strategy, with a 191% increase in website page views from 2016/17 to 2017/18.

Utilizing the integrated sports management and marketing services of ISL, FC Barcelona achieved their goal of brand penetration, growing their Soccer Camp footprint by 620% across North America.

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