Fcb Case Study

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  • Topic: FC Barcelona, Manchester United F.C., UEFA Champions League
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  • Published : May 13, 2011
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Case Study ‘FC Barcelona: More than just a club’

Case Study ‘FC Barcelona: More than just a club’

On 26th August 2009, Lander Unzueta, FC Barcelona’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), was sitting in his office with his early morning cup of coffee in front of all the day’s newspapers. The day before, Jorge Valdano, General Manager of FC Barcelona’s archrival, Real Madrid, had declared to the German news agency DPA (Deutsche Presse Agentur): “Each [club] aims to occupy a place in the world from its own particular vision. Barcelona does it by looking from Catalonia inwards, while Real Madrid does it from Spain outwards...” Valdano’s words were on the front page of every Spanish sports newspaper and were also highlighted in the sports sections of all the major general newspapers in Spain. The international media were also echoing Valdano’s opinions. Unzueta knew for sure that this was going to be a hectic day, with journalists calling to get the expected reactions from FC Barcelona representatives. He also knew that it would not be long before different stakeholders jumped into the fray, expressing their views on the issue. But Unzueta also thought it was probably a good excuse to revise FC Barcelona’s global brand strategy.

                                                             This case was written for ESADE Business School by Professors Josep Franch and Jordi Montaña and MSc student Andreu Turró, with assistance from MSc student Guillermo Muñoz. The authors would like to thank Lander Unzueta and Patricia Plasencia, FC Barcelona’s Chief Marketing Officer and Marketing Manager respectively, for the information and assistance provided. The authors developed this case for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of the situation. The case, instructor’s manual, and synopsis were anonymously peer-reviewed and accepted by the North American Case Research Association (NACRA) for its annual meeting in October 2010, held in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. All rights are reserved to the authors and NACRA. © 2010 by Josep Franch, Jordi Montaña and Andreu Turró. Contact person: Josep Franch, ESADE, Av. Pedralbes 60-62, 08034 Barcelona, Spain, (34) 93 280 6162, josep.franch@esade.edu.


Case Study ‘FC Barcelona: More than just a club’

FC Barcelona History When Hans Gamper founded FC Barcelona1 (known familiarly as Barça) on 29th November, 1899, he probably did not anticipate the enormous magnitude his initiative would have as time went by. Hans Gamper was born in Winterthur (Switzerland) in 1877. He relocated to Barcelona (Spain) in 1898 for business reasons though he also decided to create a football team to practice his favourite sport. After placing an advertisement in a local newspaper to recruit players, he was finally able to bring together a few individuals on 29th November, 1899. On that day, Football Club Barcelona was incorporated as a private, non-profit association, and Englishman Gualteri Wild was elected the club’s first President (see Exhibit 1, ‘FC Barcelona Presidents’). Very early on, it was decided that the team would adopt the name and the coat of arms of the city of Barcelona as its crest (see Exhibit 2, ‘FC Barcelona Crests’). Although there were several theories regarding the origins of the blue and red colours worn by FC Barcelona, the most widely accepted was that these colours were inspired by the colours of a football club that Gamper had played for some years earlier in Switzerland. In 1908, Gamper had to save the club from disappearing. Shortly afterwards it was decided the club should have its own differentiated crest. A contest was organised and the design by Carles Comamala was chosen as the winner. This design was still the one used currently, a bowl shaped crest with the city’s symbols such as Saint George’s Cross and the Catalan red and yellow flag in the upper part with the FC Barcelona’s blue and red stripes below. In those days, football was...
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