Qatar Airways has confirmed it will enter into a strategic partnership with football giants FC Barcelona which will see the airline’s brand name appear on first team shirts from the start of the 2013/14 season.
The three-year agreement with the runaway Spanish league leaders and former winners of the Champions League will be effective from July 1st 2013.
Qatar Airways will become the club’s Global Main Partner, signalling the first time the airline has engaged in a sponsorship with a major soccer club.
Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said it will be a unique partnership, describing the alignment with Barca as a “fitting match for both organisations, which will elevate the brands to a new platform on the global stage and sharing the same values – passionate about being the best at what we do in our respective fields”.
Al Baker was joined by FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell to announce the upcoming partnership at a joint press conference held at the club’s home stadium, Camp Nou.
“FC Barcelona is a club that exemplifies passion, pride, heritage and culture at its core. These are values we share, admire and are fundamental to Qatar Airways,” said Al Baker.
“Qatar Airways is entering a new chapter in our short history. We look forward to working with, and engaging with, the club, the fans and the people of Barcelona to help make a real difference through this exciting new partnership.
“It is great pride for my airline and my country to see Qatar Airways feature on FC Barcelona’s first-team shirts from next season.”
FC Barcelona, the reigning Copa del Rey – Spanish Cup – champions, is a club steeped in history dating back more than 100 years.
Owned by the fans and by the people of Catalonia, the club is one of the richest in the world, home to world-class players, including the world’s best player Lionel Messi.
Club president Sandro Rosell said: “From July, we will be able to work with global company Qatar Airways, with whom we share many things such as the search for excellence.
“This sponsorship deal will bring great advantages, not just for the Club, but also for our city and our country.”
As part of the agreement with Qatar Airways, the airline’s name will adorn, from the start of the 2013/14 season, Barca first-team shirts at La Liga matches across Spain, Champions League matches across Europe, as well as friendly matches, including FC Barcelona’s pre-season tours.