offpitch | 2016-07-18
Qatar Airways deal to be extended for one season
Details of the agreement and all the negotiations have yet to be communicated
After announcing Betfair as a new global sponsor, FC Barcelona has planned to announce the extension of its deal with Qatar Airways for the sponsorship of the shirt for another season. It is expected that Manel Arroyo, the executive in charge of Marketing and Communication will hold a press conference this week to explain the details of the agreement and all the negotiations that happened during this last year.
President Josep Maria Bartomeu had previously said that the club could survive a season without a sponsor on the shirt in case they didn’t get the deal they wanted to, but it seems that because of the arbitration ruling in the Can Rigalt case they will have to close a deal with Qatar Sports Investment for less than they had initially wanted. All sources indicate that the deal will bring the club somewhere between 35 and 40 million Euros.
The club was negotiating with QSI and another two companies, according to Bartomeu, and in the end the finalists were the Qatari airline and Amazon, the ecommerce giant. But the problem with the American company was that they couldn’t be the sponsors for the upcoming season, which is why the club will continue with Qatar Airways.
The renewal with QA was virtually closed a year ago before the board resigned and they left it up to the incoming board to decide whether to sign it or not. But, after Bartomeu won the elections one year ago today, he wanted to get a better deal than the one that Javier Faus had negotiated. There was talk about getting more than the €65 million that Manchester United is getting from Chevrolet. The Qatari corporation didn’t agree to these new terms so the deal was postponed and taken off the agenda of the General Assembly that took place last October.
So it seems that this was the reason why Barça didn’t take down the Qatar Airways advertisements around the Camp Nou and on its site after the last deal expired on June 30th. On that day, Bartomeu said “we are still negotiating.” Now the deal is finalized and all signs point to the fact that the airline’s name will appear on the shirt during the team’s first preseason game on July 30th.
Amazon for the following seasons?
The ecommerce giant is building its main logistical center of South Europe in El Prat de Llobregat, Catalonia. They expect the works to be finalized in the fall of 2017. Amazon has been negotiating with the club for some time, according to various sources, and it could take over the shirt sponsorship starting from the 2017-2018 season. It is not yet clear whether this deal would reach the 65 million that the board was planning to get, but Diario AS says that this could be compensated with other deals.
According to Sport the club is also negotiating deals for the sponsorship of the training shirt (which would no longer be included in the same deal as the match day shirt) and the shirts that the academy teams use.
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