FC Barcelona Announces Rakuten Inc. as Official Global Sponsor
Rakuten Inc. will grace the uniforms of Spanish giants FC Barcelona for four seasons, beginning next year. Rakuten, Inc. is one of the world’s leading internet services companies that offers a wide variety of services for consumers and businesses through e- commerce, finance and digital content services.
Soccer Biz Update: FC Barcelona and Rakuten Inc., a global company leading the way in e-commerce, communications, digital content and FinTech services for consumers and businesses around the world, have announced an agreement for the Japanese company to become the main global sponsor of the Spanish club and to appear on the front of the first team’s jersey for the next four seasons, beginning next year.
The agreement was formalized in a ceremony held at the Auditorium 1899 in the presence of the President of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu, Manel Arroyo, the Vice President responsible for Marketing and Media of FC Barcelona, and the Chairman and CEO of Rakuten, Hiroshi Mikitani. The partnership links the Catalan club with Rakuten from the 2017/18 season until the 2020/21 season, with the option of a one-year extension. Barcelona will annually receive 55 million euros for the duration of the contract with the agreement to be ratified at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Club Members in the near future.
“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,” said Bartomeu.
Founded in Japan in 1997, Rakuten, Inc. (TSE: 4755) is one of the world’s leading internet services companies. The company offers a wide variety of services for consumers and businesses with the focus on e-commerce, finance and digital content. Over the last four years, Rakuten has been ranked among the world’s ‘Top 20 Most Innovative Companies’ in Forbes magazine’s annual list.
Rakuten will be FCB’s first Global Innovation and Entertainment Partner and will focus on its technological prowess in messaging, drones, e- commerce, AI and much more. Rakuten company Viber, the global mobile messaging and calling app, will serve as FC Barcelona’s Official Communications Channel.
“This partnership opportunity is set to power our global brand strategy and, more importantly, as the Global Innovation and Entertainment Partner,” said Mikitani. “We are looking to bring the collective power of our brands like Viber, Wuaki, Ebates, Kobo, PriceMinister to build a cool innovation framework that will deliver innovative solutions and services to fans, members and players.”
Photo Credit: Rakuten Inc.