Rakuten and FC Barcelona partnership – a game changer in global innovation and entertainment?

Rakuten and FC Barcelona partnership – a game changer in global innovation and entertainment?


Rakuten FC Barcelona’s new global sponsor

There are many football fans amongst us at Aquafadas. This week they were all chanting with excitement after learning that Rakuten, one of the world’s leading internet services companies, who acquired Aquafadas a few years back, has entered into a partnership with the greatest football club in the world – FC Barcelona.

In Rakuten words “We are set to power our global brand strategy as FC Barcelona’s first-ever Global Innovation and Entertainment Partner bringing the collective power of our brands, like Viber, Wuaki.tv, Ebates, Kobo, and PriceMinister, to build an innovation framework.

Sport, business and tech – close together

Sports and business have lots in common. To only mention teamwork, leadership, skill, hard work, ambition, humility, respect and risk. We cannot agree more and we also strongly feel that tech innovation also goes along very closely together. At Aquafadas we have always been following the same principles, teaming with our clients to deliver their digital publishing projects at the same time challenging and taking risks together during the going-mobile-first journey.

We’re now waiting with excitement to see where the innovation partnership of Rakuten and FC Barça is going to take them. And while glued to our messaging app Viber (also owned by Rakuten), we’re pondering how Viber is going to transform Barça after becoming their FC Official Communications Channel.

Mobile tech – a game changer for sports entertainment

There are many examples of tech influence on sports fans. To only mention a few:

  • Video streaming makes it possible for fans to watch live games live at the stadium while at the same time following each other on smartphones
  • Game betting has been turned upside down with mobile tech allowing ‘presence’ (virtual) in two  places”at the same time  
  • Fantasy football has never been more fun, easy and intuitive with mobile apps
  • Or simply finding the best place showing football matches  on TV (e.g a nearby pub) has now  become possible with one click

Aquafadas in the game

After we learnt about Barça’s deal, we run to quickly check our archives to remind ourselves about all the great sports apps created thanks to our tools. And we’re proud to say that we have plenty. Check a few of them now: “Ready, steady, GOAL!’

  • Rugby Worldcup – catching fans attention

When one of the oldest and biggest French TV stations TF1 got granted the official French broadcaster rights to the Rugby World Cup they jumped with happiness. But they faced the tricky challenge: how to capture viewers’ attention prior to and during the event? With our tools they found the answer: 20XV, an interactive mobile application to support their offline and televised World Cup advertising campaign.

  • Learning about golf via mobile

How to learn about and win in golf? Our client decided to use the power of mobile by offering an iPhone and Ipad series Golf 2Win with dedicated tuition by elite PGA golf coaches full of proven techniques to reduce handicap and ace the game!

  • Marca Plus – digital success for a leading sports publication

With omnipresence of smartphones and tablets, the famous daily sports newspaper in Spain, faced the demand for better digital content. They had a very loyal and large base of football fans but they needed to offer them interactive experience. And they decided to partner with Aquafadas.

“We looked to create a digital publication because we are specialized in the sector and there was an opportunity. MARCA Plus is the first interactive magazine created by the biggest media company in Spain and is uniquely available for all devices (smartphones, tablets and the web).”

And the results spoke for themselves: for 100 consecutive days Marca Plus  has been the most downloaded app in Spain on both iTunes and Google Play with an average in-app duration of 46mins per user!

Proud to be appearing on FC Barça ’s team t-shirt  

We cannot wait to wear the FB Barça team t-shirt with the Rakuten logo on the front. We’re proud and excited to be a part of the same global leaders team arm in arm with world famous players like Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique.

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