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FC Barcelona kits to replace Qatar Airways logo

FC Barcelona kits to replace Qatar Airways logo

The football club has signed on Japanese retailer Rakuten as its new shirt sponsor

FC Barcelona kits will not feature the logo of Qatar Airways from the 2017-2018 season.

The club signed on a new sponsorship deal with Japanese online retailer Rakuten, it announced on Wednesday.

Barcelona vice president Manel Arroyo confirmed that it is a four-year deal, which will begin at the start of the 2017-18 campaign and end after the 2020-21 season.

“The base figure [for the deal] is €55m ($58.8m), but it could increase to €61.5m ($65.8m). There’s a 1.5 million bonus for winning La Liga and a 5 million bonus for winning the Champions League,” he said.

“In addition Barca will play at least one friendly game in Japan watch year, with the possibility of two if the calendar permits.”

Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani added: “We love sports. We have a professional baseball team, a Japanese professional football team and we sponsor the only ATP tennis tournament in Japan.

“We intend to not only become a sponsor, but to do a lot more to help Barcelona as a global innovation and entertainment partner.”

The new deal – one of the largest for shirt sponsorship – ends Barcelona’s long partnership with Qatar Airways, which was extended for a year in July.

Read more: Qatar Airways logo back on FC Barcelona kit

Barcelona’s previous deal with Qatar Airways, signed three years ago, was reportedly worth approximately $40m per year and expired in June.

The club initially entered into a $230m five-year agreement with sovereign wealth fund Qatar Sports Investments in 2011, marking the first time that a paid sponsor’s logo appeared on the team’s shirts in 111 years.

Under the deal, the Barcelona jerseys featured the Qatar Foundation logo for two years, followed by the Qatar Airways logo.

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