Barcelona look set to have a new shirt sponsor next season – and music giants Spotify are reportedly amongst the leading contenders to win the contract.
The club famously did not have a shirt sponsor until 2006 – 107 years after it was founded. But that has changed in recent years, with UNICEF, Qatar Airways and Rakuten all featuring on the shirt.
Let’s take a look at how their Rakuten partnership is now set to come to a close and why Spotify could replace them:
Why are Barcelona reportedly set to end their Rakuten partnership?
Rakuten is a Japanese electronics company. They have had a contract with Barcelona since November 2016.
They initially agreed on a four-year deal with the club, becoming their main global partner in the process. The company logo also features on Barcelona shirts.
According to Mundo Deportivo, however, that may be about to change. Barcelona has “no intention” to extend a deal with the Japanese company, ending on June 30. The report also states that Barca want a sponsor that can advertise the clubs on different media to increase income.
The club’s financial problems are well known. They are operating on a salary cap that is only high enough to be the seventh-biggest in the division. Barca have sold or loaned out numerous players to register others, including Emerson Royal and Antoine Griezmann.
Meanwhile, club captain Gerard Pique and the likes of Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have all taken wage deferrals in recent months. In that case, it makes sense why Barcelona wants to find new income streams.
Why do Spotify want to become sponsors of Barcelona?
According to a report from Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona’s colossal supporter base appeals to Spotify.
Blaugrana have hundreds of millions of followers across their social media network, alongside the massive band of non-social media users that support them worldwide.
Spotify’s user numbers are even more eye-watering. As per Statista, the music streaming giant had 172 million premium subscribers during the second quarter of 2021. Their subscriber base has more than doubled over the last five years.
Barcelona’s humungous following, coupled with Spotify’s incredible growth, means this partnership would make perfect sense.
Have Spotify been involved with football before?
The co-founder and CEO of Spotify, Daniel Ek, is a big Arsenal fan.
He confirmed his interest in buying the club after the Super League debacle last April, which saw Gunners fans turn on current majority shareholder Stan Kroenke. However, the American rejected Ek’s takeover bids.
As of yet, there has been no more movement in terms of Ek’s takeover bid being successful.
That is not Spotify’s only involvement with football. They signed a partnership with Brazilian giants Santos back in 2019, which saw the club have an official profile on the music streaming site.
Spotify also has partnerships with Boca Juniors and Sao Paulo.
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