Rakuten is a new Barcelona sponsor. The agreement between the Japanese electronic commerce company and the Spanish club will begin in the 2017/18 season and will be in place for four years with an option for the fifth. In order to be Barcelona’s main global sponsor Rakuten will pay €220 million. This sponsorship-deal is the most profitable for Barcelona so far. Rakuten is going to pay €55 million per season, an amount higher than what Qatar Airways currently pays.
“This deal makes us the leader among sports clubs for sponsorship” stated Barcelona’s president Bartolomeu. “This partnership with Rakuten enables us to reach sporting and commercial success and help the club achieve its goal of becoming a point of reference in the world.”
This sponsorship-deal was a win/win solution for both parties. The Japanese company is expanding its brand in Europe and Barcelona can give them the right visibility. Hiroshi Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten stated: “This partnership gives us the opportunity to implement our global brand strategy. Our brands such as Viber, Wuaki, Ebates, Kobo, PrinceMinister will be able to build innovation that can help to create new solutions and services for the fans, members, and footballers”.
During the presentation of the new sponsor Rakuten also announced that Viber will be Barcelona’s “Official communication Channel”.