With help from the global mobile messaging service Viber, fans will have access to behind-the-scenes coverage of FC Barcelona.
FC Barcelona last week launched its Viber Public Account that provides 800 million worldwide users with exclusive behind-the-scenes content, news and updates leading up to the start of the La Liga season. Followers of the account will receive access to a bot experience and are able to download an exclusive FC Barcelona sticker pack as part of a series of sticker packs that will be released.
FC Barcelona stars Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr., Gerard Piqué and Arda Turan visited Viber parent company Rakuten’s headquarters in Tokyo and interacted with a young fan on a video call on Viber, which became the official communication channel of the club.
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Rakuten and FC Barcelona started a four-year agreement (with an option for a one-year extension) to become Main Global Partners earlier this month.
Based in Tokyo, Rakuten is an e-commerce marketplace company that encompasses over 70 businesses in the digital content, communications and fintech space. Through those diverse markets Rakuten has created a unique ecosystem for users and hopes to raise awareness of that ecosystem.
In terms of awareness, FC Barcelona more than fills the need. The club has the worldwide fan base and mega-stars like Messi and Neymar Jr. to attract awareness to any company.
“Having Rakuten as FC Barcelona’s Main Global Partner and Official Innovation & Entertainment Partner is an absolute pleasure and we are sure that it will be a successful collaboration for both entities,” FC Barcelona’s Vice President responsible for Marketing and Communication, Manel Arroyo, said in a statement.
“The experience, innovative vision and commitment to social development Rakuten has will help the Club continue to grow and maintain its position as a global reference in a sporting and institutional sense. The shared philosophy, values and objectives are, without a doubt, another guarantee of the success which will come out of this agreement.”
The partnership will set off a series of campaigns to engage consumers and fans. Rakuten will also host kickoff events in 12 major cities across the globe to celebrate the partnership.
“It has been a pleasure to get to know firsthand the work Rakuten is doing in Japan and to see the passion with which they work,” Messi said in a statement. “Their commitment to teamwork is similar to the approach we take on the pitch – it is something that both parties in this new partnership share.”