Entertainment Services – Ivana
Topic: Service Marketing in Entertainment of Barcelona by Ivana Roman
Presentation: Entertainment Services Field Study Presentation
Service Locations: Camp Nou and Gran Teatre del Liceu
Research Question: How do the services of the entertainment organizations in Barcelona affect how they market themselves?
With the opportunity to attend a Futbol game and opera, I chose to do a participant observation. I attended the following events:
- FCBarcelona vs. Celta Vigo for the Copa deal Rey at Cam Nou on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 9:30PM.
- L’Elisir D’Amore opera at Gran Teatre del Liceu on Friday, January 12, 2018 at 8:00PM
I did not interview customers or employees at either locations, but made written observations of the entire process – from purchase through attending the event. The observations aimed to note what services were provided by the institution and how the institution used that to attract specific segments of the market.
- We saw one advertisement for the game while walking around in Pl. Catalunya.
- I didn’t go through the purchase process, but I believe because all of our seats were separated, it was a difficult process to buy for a large group. However, it was convenient that reservations and payments could be done online.
- When we arrived at the stadium, there were many people handing out signs that said “Liberdat” This is out of the FCBarcelona’s control since they were outside the gates, but many people were accepting the signs and twice during the game, a “Liberdat” chant was started. With the sheer number of people in the stadium that had the sign, it probably would probably have been an unpopular move on the side of FCB to try to stop it.
- The price of the tickets are inexpensive for the top tier seats, which allows a wider income range to attend the game
- The stadium itself seems outdated compared to the stadiums in NY. The chairs are plastic without a lot of legroom. Maximum capacity is 100,000. There aren’t many food options, and they do not serve drinks containing alcohol.
- There are many small stands lined outside the gate of the stadium, but there is only one official shop at one entrance to the stadium. This is vastly different that NY where every floor has stands and options to purchase merchandise.
- There are many advertisements around the city for this opera, and includes the price range of available tickets, with availability as low as 10 Euro for some nights.
- Opera has may tiers for tickets from 12 Euro to 200 Euro. The online purchase is very easy. It allows you to see all available seats by price, and when you select your seat it gives the percent of visibility for the performance.Tickets are delivered via email and an be added to you Apple Wallet, saved as a picture, or printed as normal tickets.
- I chose the 12 Euro seats which warned about 0 visibility, but it had a screen in front of the seat that would play the performance with the option of subtitles.
- During the performance, I was able to sit comfortably at the very highest tier, and watch the performance with subtitles on the screen, because I could not see the stage.
- There were many people that also chose this option, as the show was very full.
- For others in the theatre watching the performance, above the stage there was a two line screen that had translations in Catalan, but not in Spanish or English.
- At the foyer level where one could purchase drinks or food, it was filled with people in tuxedos and long gowns.
- The theatre was beautiful, and I believe bigger than the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center.
Although the FCBarcelona team is internationally renowned, it does not seem like a focus of their marketing is to international tourists. The stadium does not capitalize on marketing to tourists through merchandise, but instead focuses on the experience of the game. I’m sure we were not the only international visitors at the game, but judging from the amount of people that held up the “Liberdat” sign in protest, the percentage of native Caltan people was much higher than the foreigners. It was also apparent in the composition of the tiers. The tier we were in (level 400), had the lowest number of the protest banners, a sign that the more inexpensive seats are probably the attraction for foreigners to enjoy the game experience at lower costs. The main fan base of the team are probably club members, or just willing to spend more on tickets to support the team. This is also apparent in the stadium’s decision not to sell alcohol to avoid inciting people’s excitement even further. There are even rules on the FCB website as guidelines for people cheering on the opposing team. The club is focused on the experience of the game without the distractions of expensive food or merchandise. Although it was a setback to realize that I could not purchase a scarf at that moment, it was refreshing to see that finding ways to capitalize on a profit is not the only way to enjoy a sporting event.
The opera was a very different experience to the FCBarcelona game, but with no less passion. In observing the behaviors of the people around me, everyone seemed to genuinely enjoy the performance. The theater was very accessible via the metro, and a beautiful building from the outside to the performance hall. I’m very happy that I chose seats with a screen, because while it would’ve been nice to see the actual stage, I preferred to read subtitles in my language preference than have to see it in Catalan. Even though I enjoy operas, I do not know enough Italian to be able to determine everything that is going on and it would’ve taken away from my experience. I believe there were subtitles (Italian, Catalan, Spanish, and English) provided on the back of the seat in front, but trying to see the performance while looking down for translations is not the best experience. As the biggest horseshoe opera in Europe, I believe the opera house recognizes the international appeal and caters to that. The people sitting in the same section as me were all dressed accordingly, no one in jeans, but also not in tuxedos or gowns. This was according to the market that the theatre meant to attract with the value of the tickets. These were presumably all people that enjoy the opera but cannot afford to spend a lot on tickets. Those who are able to purchase tickets at more than 200 Euro are in another economic sphere, and therefore experience the show differently. It was still a very enjoyable experience, and beautiful performance.
There are plans to begin remodeling the Camp Nou stadium this year to be completed by 2022. According to the information available about the plans, the seating will now be protected with a ceiling, stairs will be replaced by escalators, but overall, the architects are maintains the essence of openness in the stadium. There was not mention of expanding the food and merchandise services offered within the stadium. I recommend partnering with a few local restaurants to offer a slightly wider variety for food. It seems that most people in attendance are not focused on the food at the game, but it could be a way for the stadium to enhance the experience for a segment of its international market while making a profit.
The opera has done a great job of segmenting their services to attract different areas of the market, and from the few seats I saw in the theatre, it is working. I recommend that the opera continue preserving the elements that appeal to each segment, such as the inexpensive seats at the top tier and tuxedo appropriate seats at the bottom tier.