In 2017, FC Barcelona launched the Innovation Hub. According to the Financial Times, the arm of the football club was created to “invent” the future of the game. The group’s own website claims it is a laboratory for the future of sport.
The organisation uses plenty of buzzwords and it is backed by the most famous name in world football. But what does FC Barcelona’s Innovation Hub really do?
FC Barcelona’s Innovation Hub
One of the most important things to note about the innovation hub right off the bat is the group may not be unique. Barcelona have been open about the group while other football clubs have been far more secretive about the work they do behind the scenes.
In an interview with the Finacial Times, even club president Josep Maria Bartomeu claimed it may not be the only organization of its kind.
Unlike other major football clubs, Barcelona have a plethora of other professional and amateur sports teams at the club. Basketball is just one of the other sports that receives information and studies from the Innovation Hub.
The number of athletes the group can study is incredible and can lend to Barcelona improving the club on and off the pitch.
The Innovation Hub not only has a large number of athletes to test, but they have a vast amount of partners outside of the club. These partnerships allow the club to test its research with other parties to develop products that could improve athlete performance.
Money is one of the driving forces behind Barcelona’s Innovation Hub. The club plans to charge royalties to any company that markets a product the Innovation Hub helped develop.
Barcelona wants to invest further in sports technology and push the boundaries of the industry. Interestingly, they are working with American sports teams in the NFL and NBA realms to further their knowledge of sports technology rather than other football clubs in Europe.
The club is thinking outside the box and off the pitch. The reason for this is partly due to Barcelona looking to raise funds in new ways. Barcelona have never been a selling club and making money in new ways will enable them to compete for the top prizes on the field.
FC Barcelona’s Innovation Hub is an interesting concept. Only time will tell if it is successful and moves sports forward. Like the famous AC Milan Lab before it, the Innovation Hub could change football and improve performances on and off the pitch.