Creative Soccer Culture

Barcelona Unveil New €55m-a-year Shirt Sponsor

Muchas Gracias. Barcelona have announced their new shirt sponsor for the 2017/18 season. Rakuten Inc. have signed a four-year deal with the club worth a cool €55 million a year, and in return the Rakuten logo will take pride of place on the front of the first team's kits from next season.

That's €55 million-a-year before bonuses we should add. If Barca were to pick up a trophy, which let's face it, they will, the annual sponsorship fee will increase. So who are Rakuten Inc? We won't go into the full history of the company, but in short they're a Japaense company who specialise in e-commerce, communications, digital content and FinTech services for consumers and businesses around the world. Since 2012, Rakuten has been ranked among the world’s ‘Top 20 Most Innovative Companies’ in Forbes magazine’s annual list. Exciting, right? They own Viber, if that helps.

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That's all very well. They've clearly got the cash. But if they've got one big old nasty looking logo then farewell to stylish home and away kits for the next four seasons, right? Luckily, Barca fans, the Rakuten logo that will sit on the chest of the famous red and blue stripes is as minimal as they come. Bare Euros and the freedom for Nike to continue their uninterrupted aesthetic game. Everyone's happy. 

Rakuten will also feature on the seats of the Nou Camp, replacing the Qatar Airways spelled out in Barca yellow. When you add that €55 mil-a-year to the estimated €120m from Nike, €5m from Intel and €10m from Beko you've got yourself one pretty damn valuable shirt. Put Lionel Messi in it and that number doubles.


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