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Real Madrid brings in Telefónica ahead of Bernabéu transformation

Spanish telco Telefónica has agreed a new partnership with Real Madrid which is set to aid the LaLiga football club’s transformation of its Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.

Telefónica has been appointed as Real’s technological integrator until June 2023. The telco will take on a role for the integration of technological solutions in the different facilities and infrastructure of the club during the next four years.

Emilio Gayo, chief executive of Telefónica Spain, said: “We have started on a very exciting path for the coming years, with two large companies that are going to work together to confront and take advantage of the opportunities that the technological change we are experiencing offers us.

“I am convinced that throughout these years of joint work we will be able to develop a new qualitative leap in the experience that can be offered to fans in their different areas of relationship with the club.”

Specific details behind the partnership were not disclosed, but Spanish newspaper El Pais noted that it will be similar to a deal Telefónica struck with Real’s city rival Atlético de Madrid in February. Telefónica has opted to pursue a strategy of becoming a technology provider of clubs, rather than purely a sponsor.

El Pais said Telefónica is likely to assist in providing fibre optic technology, WiFi, security services and the incorporation of a big data platform that will enhance the fan experience at the new-look Bernabéu.

A redevelopment project costing around €600m ($672.3m) is expected to be completed in 2023. In April, Real signed off on a deal that will see US financial services giants J.P. Morgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch lead the financing for the redevelopment of the Bernabéu.

Real has secured a €575m loan for the transformation of its stadium. The financing has been structured by J.P. Morgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch with the collaboration of Banco Santander and Société Générale. CaixaBank will be the agent in the transaction.