Barcelona's kits will look different in El Clasico against Real Madrid this Sunday. Instead of featuring the logo of their current commercial sponsor Spotify, they'll switch to the famous OVO owl from singer Drake.
Why Barcelona has an owl on their jersey?
Confusing, isn't it? To be clear, Barcelona hasn't thrown away their multimillion, lever-pulling deal with Spotify. In fact, the idea of adorning the blaugrana jerseys with the rapper branding came from the very own music streaming service to celebrate the artist's success on the platform.
Specifically, the presence of the OVO owl on the uniforms marks the fact that Drake is the first artist on Spotify to reach 50 billion streams.
Not only is @Drake the first artist to hit 50 billion @Spotify streams, but now he’ll also be the first artist to appear on the @FCBarcelona jersey during this weekend’s El Clásico match ❤️ pic.twitter.com/WLqMLsCSxr— Spotify News (@SpotifyNews) October 14, 2022
Since Barcelona signed the deal with Spotify has been promoting several artists in Camp Nou, but Drake is the first to jump from social media campaigns and ad boards in the stadium to the club's jersey.
"This doesn't feel real, but it is," said the rapper on Instagram to promote the landmark event.
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Musicians in soccer jerseys
Drake is the first musician to feature on a Barcelona jersey. However, he is not the first – singer or band – to be on a soccer kit.
In England, Ed Sheeran has been promoting his work and tours on the Ipswich Town shirt for the last two seasons.
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Bob Marley also had a couple of tributes recently. The Irish Bohemian FC tried to put him on his away jersey in 2018 – although they had to remove him because they didn't have the right to use his image – while Ajax went for a beautiful hommage to the song "Three little birds" last year.
Introducing Bohemians’ new away shirt!It’s in tribute to Bob Marley after his final outdoor concert took place at their home ground pic.twitter.com/tdl9KKhffy
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) October 24, 2018
The MLS hasn't been strange to the soccer-music bond and the Seattle Sounders' latest away jersey is inspired by local legend Jimmi Hendrix.
⬥ The Jimi Hendrix Kit ⬥Inspired by a matchday tradition, honoring a Seattle icon. pic.twitter.com/DNJUGCWDIn
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) March 25, 2021
And they are not the only ones. GLC, The Libertines, The Prodigy, and Motörhead, among others, have also appeared in sponsoring clubs around the world.
Is Spotify bringing more artists to the Barcelona jersey?
It's hard to say, but the potential for selling special editions is significant, so it would not be weird to see similar efforts in the future.
But don't get too hasty about the Barcelona Drake OVO owl jersey because the club said they are not selling it in stores or online. At least for now. However, there is an exclusive draw among their fans in case you want to put your hand on one of them.
Finally, the Spotify stunt is not totally new in LaLiga. In the 2003-2004 season, Atlético de Madrid signed a contract with Columbia Pictures and promoted more than 15 movies on their shirt.