Camp Nou or Nou Camp? Has the Spotify name change put the argument to rest?

FC Barcelona have moved away from tradition with a sponsor for their hallowed stadium

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

The times. They are a-changin'.

Bob Dylan's 1964 folk track will be low down on the list of a go-to song for most Barcelona fans who will soon probably be taking advantage of a sweet Spotify premium deal to celebrate a much-needed cash injection.

The Catalan giants had long prided themselves on being sponsorless, but to quote Dylan: "The slow one now, will later be fast. As the present now, will later be past."

But renaming the historic old Camp Nou? That's akin to giving the Sagrada Familia a "brought to you by" tagline - or Parc Guell having an elongated prefix. It's seeping Americanisation in football and it's not on.

However, it does answer a lingering question - particularly for native English speakers.

Camp Nou or Nou Camp?

Naming it the Spotify Camp Nou - officially - means that most football fans in England can end their obsession with calling it the Nou Camp.

A little historical look on Google Trends shows the majority of the world calls it Camp Nou with notable exceptions in Turkey, the UK, Vietnam, Slovakia and Ireland.

Turkey, Ireland and the UK have historically called Barcelona's home ground the 'Nou Camp'.

But there is hope on the horizon. In the past day, search conventions around Camp Nou/Nou Camp are changing. In Ireland, 64 per cent of users typed in Camp Nou. In the UK that split was 66-34 per cent. In Turkey, the split is 70-30 per cent.

On March 15, users in Ireland and the UK were searching for Camp Nou more frequently than Nou Camp.

Will fans adopt the Spotify name change?

There are certainly some breakout searches on Google Trends but in the long run it is not likely.

Unlike Americans who love to attend basketball fixtures at the Smoothie King Center, adopting branded stadium names in parlance has worked well mainly in new-builds. Arsenal's The Emirates Stadium is so strong you have to Google what the ground's formal name was (Ashburton Grove).

Sometimes they work too well when the eventual naming rights expire. Coventry City fans still call their now two-decade-old stadium the Ricoh, despite it now being The Coventry Building Society Stadium. Bolton Wanderers' stadium is still pretty much "The Reebok".

Why have Barcelona gone all-in with Spotify?

Up until 1982, their famous blaugrana shirt didn't even have a supplier let alone a shirt sponsor front and centre. But that changed with an altruistic deal with the UN children's agency Unicef in 2006. Unicef remains a secondary shirt sponsor to this day.

Another non-financial sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation followed for a couple of seasons. Then, in 2013, Barca received their first monetary sponsor with Qatar Airways - a deal estimated to be worth about €170 million over four years. Since 2017 Barca have been sponsored by Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten for about €55m a year. The club also has a secondary shirt sponsor by Turkish appliance maker Beko.

Barca have not confirmed how much the Spotify sponsorship deal is worth although reports suggest the club could earn up to €300 million ($328.6 million) over the four years. A tidy amount.

But this pales in comparison with English clubs such as Manchester United who enjoyed a $559m deal with Chevrolet over seven years - and they didn't have to prefix Old Trafford.

“This partnership will allow us to continue to bring the club closer to its fans and make them feel, even more, part of the Barca family," says President Joan Laporta.

Perhaps. But recently at the Catalan club Money's Too Tight (To Mention).

Updated: March 16, 2022, 11:45 AM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL