ISG were appointed by FC Barcelona (“FCB”) to undertake a comprehensive review of their existing facilities and to develop business plans for their future facilities.
ISG was appointed by FC Barcelona (“FCB”) in 2013 to undertake a comprehensive review of their existing facilities and to develop business plans for their future facilities.
FCB’s current facilities are old and do not provide a modern stadium experience to fans and customers. Despite having the largest club stadium in Europe, FCB achieve relatively low income from their stadium. As well as the famous 99,500 seat Camp Nou, the clubs facilities include a smaller football stadium, an indoor arena suitable for basketball and handball and an ice-rink.
ISG led a team in assessing three options identified by the board of FCB – a new stadium on the same site as the Camp Nou, a new stadium 1km away from the Camp Nou and a complete renovation of the Camp Nou. The aim was to allow the board to make a decision based on hard facts and to create a business plan for the chosen option to enable funding to be sourced to complete the work.
The core of the work was creating a flexible business plan driven by a proprietary conjoint model built by Comperio Research (ISG’s in house stadium research division) which provided robust financial forecasts for a range of options. Conjoint research is a highly sophisticated methodology that is generally recommended for projects such as this, one of the key benefits being that it uncovers what people will actually buy, rather than what they say they will buy – a subtle but vital difference.
The data for this model was sourced through one of the most comprehensive research fieldwork studies ever undertaken in sport. A range of different existing and potential user groups were targeted and a statistically robust sample of each group was achieved through surveys of fans, socios, existing corporate partners and new potential buyers of hospitality product in the stadium, providing unparalleled insight into future behaviour patterns across the entire range of potential consumers.
This market research enabled ISG to recommend to FCB a mix of VIP products & services, together with pricing levels for each product, that is in line with customer expectations and will generate significant excess of demand over supply to give FCB comfort on deliverability of these revenue streams. The research methodology allowed ISG to interact with the project team, working on an iterative basis, to develop scenarios and strategic product definition with the goal of optimising the return on capital investment.
The three optimised business plans were then assessed by the board of FCB who, based on ISG’s recommendations, selected their preferred options. In April 2014, this option was put to a referendum of the club's socios (only the second referendum in FCB’s history) where it was approved.
ISG continues to work with the dedicated team at FCB in the development of the chosen plan – a €500m complete renovation of the Camp Nou to create a 105,000 seat stadium, replete with optimal customer experience for all levels of fans and some of the most innovative experiences in stadia. It will be a world-class home for one of the world’s greatest football teams for decades to come.