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Barcelona confirm collaboration with Georgetown University

Barcelona have confirmed a collaboration agreement with Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. as they continue to seek new ways to grow their brand in the United States.

The announcement of the agreement comes in the same week the Spanish club revealed the board has approved a development plan to add a team to the National Women's Soccer League in the United States from 2018.

It was also confirmed earlier this week that Barca will launch a new soccer school in San Diego in September, their sixth stateside, which is more than in any other country around the world.

Barca will take advantage of their stop in Washington in July -- where they will play an International Champions Cup game against Manchester United -- to carry out a cycle of lectures on subjects such as innovation in sport, analytics in sport and women's football as the first part of their agreement with Georgetown University.

A statement from the Catalan club explains that they seek to "enter in the development of mutual programmes regarding football and leadership, professional education and research in the field of sports management, among others areas" with Georgetown.

"It is with great pride that FC Barcelona and the prestigious Georgetown University have reached this collaboration agreement in order to work together within the framework of the Barca Innovation Hub," Barca director Jordi Mones said.

"This will allow FC Barcelona, during the first team's summer U.S. tour, to be present at the University to have a round-table discussion about our innovation project."

Barca's Innovation Hub project aims to become the world's number one sports centre of knowledge and innovation in the sports industry to create value for the club and society in general.

It is a project which allows the club to innovate, generate, attract, manage and share knowledge -- internally and externally -- through collaborations with universities, prestigious brands, research centres, startups and entrepreneurs around the world.

Barca's links with the U.S. have grown rapidly since the September opening of a New York office.

In a statement released at the time, Barca explained they wanted the U.S. to provide a "commercial hub for generating new revenue and implementing the strategic plan for the 2016-2021 period, one of the main targets of which is to achieve a turnover of €1 million."

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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