Spotify, the Swedish audio streaming giant, has expanded its partnership with Spanish soccer heavyweights FC Barcelona to include sponsorship of the club’s academies in the US.

The deal, announced at the start of Barcelona’s pre-season tour of the US, will see Sportify become the main partner of the Barca Academy PRO soccer schools and Barca Residency Academy USA.

The logo of the audio giant will appear on the jerseys of the 1,200 boys and girls attending Barca Academy PRO Miami and New York, as well as those at Barca Residency Academy USA in Arizona.

The agreement also includes plans to feature Spotify branding at Barcelona’s other international academies and the option for the Swedish brand to use their facilities for holding events and classes in the future.

Barcelona currently has 30 Barca Academies around the world, the majority of which are dotted around the US. Other major markets for the club are Japan, which has five academies, and India, which has four.

Local media have suggested the latest agreement is worth between €60 million ($65 million) and €70 million per season.

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By GlobalData

The US deal expands Spotify’s multifaceted and multi-year sponsorship deal of Barcelona signed in March, which gives it naming rights of the iconic Camp Nou stadium and front-of-shirt rights for both the men’s and women’s first teams from the start of the 2022-23 LaLiga season in July.

Spotify replaces Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce brand, as the men’s shirt sponsor and home tools brand Stanley Black & Decker on the front of the women’s kit.

That agreement is worth an estimated total of €280 million and marks the first time the club’s home ground has taken on a naming rights sponsor, becoming the Spotify Camp Nou. The stadium is currently being renovated to increase its capacity to around 105,000.

The latest deal comes as Barcelona looks to dramatically increase its capital to dig its way out of the deep financial hole it has fallen into on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Late last year, Barcelona’s debt stood at €1.35 billion, with the club’s economic woes leading to their best player and all-time great Lionel Messi leaving. the club must also finance the redevelopment of Nou Camp, which is expected to cost in the region of €1.5 billion.

Last month (June), Barcelona’s economic vice president Eduard Romeu said the club needs €500 million to be “saved” from its financial crisis.

To raise its capital, the club also recently finalized a deal to sell 10% of its LaLiga television rights for the next 25 years to US-based investment first Sixth Street, which will initially invest €207.5 million. The deal is expected to generate €267 million for the 2022-23 LaLiga season.

That deal came on the back of FC Barcelona members agreeing to sell up to 25% of their television rights to one or more investors at an EGM in June. Members also agreed to sell 49.9% of the Barca Licensing and Merchandising arm of the club to raise capital and balance the books.

At the time, the Catalan side said they wanted to make €600 million from both operations to increase profits and “make Barca a competitive team.”