Barcelona opens up to VR technology

Barcelona’s commercial director Francesco Calvo has said the Spanish Liga football club’s recent virtual-reality based initiative with social media platform Facebook will mark the beginning of a longer partnership between the two parties.

The club trialled the use of VR technology during its 2-1 home defeat to arch rival Real Madrid last Saturday and the initiative proved popular with supporters.

Various areas of Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium were equipped with Facebook’s Oculus technology, allowing fans to experience the action from unique perspectives.

The club then published the content on its official Facebook page. One particular clip, which featured both sets of players walking onto the pitch amid a backdrop of a mosaic paying tribute to Barcelona’s legendary former player and manager Johan Cruyff, who died of cancer last month, was watched by over a million people in one day.

“We are focusing on virtual reality technology not only to allow our fans around the world to live the Barca experience wherever they may be, but also as it is a clear asset for digital sponsorship,” Calvo said. “This weekend’s experience is the start of a long path for FC Barcelona.”