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FC Barcelona drops Qatar Airways logo from jerseys next season

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Starting next season, Japanese retailer Rakuten will replace Qatar Airways as the main global partner of the Spanish football team FC Barcelona, the club announced yesterday in a press conference.

The Japanese company will appear on the front of the team’s shirt and become the Global Innovation and Entertainment Partner for the next four seasons, starting 1 July 2017.

Qatar Airways renewed its sponsorship agreement for another one year with a €215 million.

In a Statements by Josep Maria Bartomeu, President of FC Barcelona

“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”.

 in a Statements by Hiroshi Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten Inc.:

“This partnership opportunity is set to power our global brand strategy and, more importantly, as the Global Innovation and Entertainment Partner, 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”.

“I am very excited about joining the Barça community as I have personally followed the team for decades and have long admired their unique playing style and professionalism, their commitment to success and their culture of nurturing young talent – all values we share at Rakuten”.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan since 1997, Rakuten is one of the world’s leading internet services companies.

The company offers a wide variety of services for consumers and businesses, with a focus on e-commerce, finance, and digital content.

Lina Gilani
Holds B.A English Literature and Translation from Al – Zaytoonah University in Amman – Jordan. Writer, translator, animal rights activist.