The UNICEF name will remain on the shirts and Barcelona will seek a way to combine the two logos, but the Qatar Foundation would be the prevalent one if a solution cannot be found. The club said the deal could be worth up to 170 million euro ($225 million) with add-ons.
“With this deal, Barcelona places itself as the indisputable brand leader in world football ahead of our international competitors,” Barcelona’s financial vice president Javier Faus said.
Barcelona previously flirted with deals but this marks the first time in the Catalan team’s 111-year history it will be paid to advertise.
Now note, the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development is a private organization with goals of improving those fields within the borders of the state. It was started by the Emir of Qatar in 1995 and Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, one of the few women to take part in the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, is the chairperson. Given the national goals of the foundation (as opposed to the international cause of UNICEF), it’s hard to understand why sponsoring a Spanish football club will help its cause or why it wouldn’t be better to just pump that €150-170 million directly into their foundation.
Keeping it interesting, I found out Barca manager Pep Guardiola was a paid ambassador for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid, and club president Sandro Rosell has been a vocal proponent of the development of a Qatari football academy inspired by Barcelona’s.
Let the Qatar conspiracy theories continue…