Qatar Airways will enter into a strategic partnership with football giants FC Barcelona that sees 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 1 July 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 Officer Akbar Al Baker said it will be a unique partnership between the World’s Best Club and the Best Airline in the World, 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 earlier today.
“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.
“We know and understand the passion of the people of Catalonia, who live and breathe football. Football is a religion for tens of millions of fans globally. At Qatar Airways, we are able to bridge supporters and communities linking Barcelona with millions of loyal fans around the world.”
He added: “Sport is a key pillar of our growth strategy, in line with the long-term vision of the State of Qatar’s inspiring leader The Emir, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, to develop sport as fundamental element to our country’s development. Qatar Airways has been actively developing its sports strategy, tying up with organisations in Qatar and overseas that match our aspirations – and FC Barcelona is an example of an institution that clearly fits in with our strategy.”
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 1, 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.”
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