FC Barcelona and GSMA announced a three-year technology partnership earlier this week, stating that the two are set to work together on promoting a wide variety of new solutions pertaining to the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, online security, big data, and other related segments. The collaboration was officially detailed at this year's iteration of Mobile World Congress (MWC) Americas which was concluded in San Francisco on Thursday, with FC Barcelona pledging it's also set to advertise various tech initiatives at other GSMA-hosted events like the main MWC one which takes place each spring in the club's home city of Barcelona, Spain. Likewise, FC Barcelona will also be attending the annual Shanghai edition of MWC with the same goal, its officials confirmed on Tuesday.
The project is meant to serve as an extension of FC Barcelona's existing initiatives in the tech world, including the Barça Innovation Hub which the club promoted at MWC Americas this past week. The program should hence extend its reach as a direct result of the newly announced partnership and deliver new products and services, the duo confirmed, without elaborating on the matter. Unsurprisingly, the two will primarily focus on potential applications of new telecommunications technologies in the context of football/soccer and sports in general, with their focus being aimed at solutions like smart crowd management tools, online ticket stores, and contemporary fitness sensors. The football club also confirmed it will be sponsoring a number of GSMA's youth initiatives like Mobile World Capital's mSchools and the MWC-hosted YoMo Festival, all with the goal of promoting technology as a viable career choice, as well as simply piquing the curiosity of young sports fans around the world.
News of FC Barcelona's partnership with the London, UK-based trade body comes shortly after the club debuted another tech-focused collaboration with Viber, a messaging service owned by its main sponsor Rakuten. The first result of their joint initiative is a versatile Viber chatbot which FC Barcelona's fans can use to vote for whom they deem are their best performers after every single match in exchange for a chance to win some notable prizes, including the opportunity to meet Messi, Iniesta, Ter Stegen, Rakitić, and the rest of the club's stars.