FC Barcelona has struck a deal to sell a 24.5% stake in Barca Studios, the club’s media production arm, to blockchain-based fan engagement company Socios.com for $102 million.
Selling a portion of Barca Studios will help the La Liga club — which reported $1.56 billion in debt in October 2021 — alleviate its financial woes and compete in the player transfer market. In June, Barcelona’s economic VP said the club needs $535 million to avoid financial devastation.
- Socios.com has deals with more than 150 sports organizations, including the NFL.
- Barcelona and Socios.com will collaborate to build Barca Studios’ digital portfolio.
- The deal will also allow Barcelona to “deliver new long-term revenue streams.”
The pact with Socios.com follows Barcelona’s agreement in June with private equity firm Sixth Street to sell a 10% stake in its TV rights in a deal worth up to $278 million.
Barcelona doubled down in July after securing a deal with Sixth Street to sell an additional 15% stake in its media rights for reportedly $327.5 million, bringing the firm’s total stake to 25%.
Barcelona’s deal with Socios.com stems from a pact between the club and its delegates.
In June, delegates approved the cession of up to 25% of income from Barcelona’s TV rights for 25 years, as well as the sale of a minority share of its licensing and merchandising division.
Barcelona had estimated it could earn roughly $631 million for the deals.