Barcelona announce huge new kit deal with Japanese sponsors Rakuten

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Barcelona today announced a huge new kit deal with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten after their association with Qatar Airways expires. The company will become Barcelona’s new global partner and will have their logo emblazoned on the club’s shirt for four seasons starting from 2017.

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Rakuten is ‘a dynamic global company leading the way in e-commerce, communications, digital content and FinTech services for consumers and businesses around the world’. But we know what you want to know: How much money is involved. The club will now £50 million a year from their shirt partner.

While the Mirror claim that this is a record-breaking deal, we believe that Manchester United’s partnership with Chevrolet is more lucrative. The Red Devils are reportedly getting north of £70 million a year from bond.

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu had this to say about the deal: “We are delighted with our agreement with Rakuten, a global brand in innovation whose experience and know-how in the fields of big data, communications and e-commerce will contribute to the future success of FC Barcelona”.

“This agreement puts us at the forefront of sports club sponsorships, which has always been an objective for the current Board of Directors. We hope this partnership between Rakuten and FC Barcelona brings unparalleled sporting and commercial success, and helps the club achieve its goal of being a reference point worldwide.”

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Although Qatar Airways will no longer by the club’s shirt sponsor, they’re expected to renew a deal to keep it as their official airline partner. Bartomeu said that defender Gerard Pique was the one who struck up an initial meeting with Rakuten in San Francisco back in 2015. Not a bad achievement for a man who has openly stated that he would like to be president of the club one day.

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