Spanish soccer club FC Barcelona has entered into a collaboration with Chinese multinational conglomerate and video game technological giant, Tencent.
According to Barcelona and Tencent, the two will engage in what is being described as “deep communication” that will see the two entities look to engage and create a greater esports presence for the soccer organization. As it stands, Barcelona already has teams that compete in the Psyonix title Rocket League and Konami’s eFootball PES 2020.
This partnership will create esports and business educational knowledge exchanges so that each can learn and grow from the experience. Barcelona has been looking to expand its esports footprint, and while that is important, the soccer club has made it clear that it does not want to be involved in games that feature realistic violence.
While esports will be a large part of Barcelona’s digital footprint, the organization is also looking to diversify its engagement and revenue streams by investing more than €300M ($354M USD) over a five-year period into a digital strategy, according to Palco23. This strategy includes the launch of Barca TV, a new video platform that will show premium content surrounding both its sports and esports teams.
Barcelona is also reportedly looking to acquire more esports teams which could include those that compete in Riot Games’ League of Legends as the organization now has close ties to both.
Tencent is the largest video game company in the world in terms of total revenue earned. The company owns Riot Games and has a 40% stake in Epic Games, publishers of the battle royale title, Fortnite. This deal will get Tencent involved with its second major soccer team as it has an existing partnership with Manchester City.
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