By Andy Sambidge
Top Spanish football club unveils new kit following Qatar Foundation's $235m five year sponsorship
FC Barcelona has unveiled its new first team home shirt for the 2011/12 season, bearing the Qatar Foundation name as part of a $235m sponsorship deal.
A delegation from Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development were invited to the famous Nou Camp stadium for the launch of the new shirt sponsorship.
The Qatar Foundation signed a record shirt sponsorship deal with Barcelona last December for 30 million euros a season, or 165 million euros until 2016.
The deal with the Qatar Foundation, which promotes education and research in the Middle East, was criticised at the time by former Dutch superstar Johan Cruyff who said it was "sullying the jersey" of a team that boasts to be "mes que un club" (more than a club).
Attending on behalf of Qatar Foundation, communication director Haya bint Khalifa al-Nassr said: “Despite the distance that separates us, Qatar Foundation and FC Barcelona share similar values.
"Both organisations are committed to the business of unlocking human potential in their local communities and on a global level," she added in comments published by Qatar daily Gulf Times on Wednesday.
Al-Nassr added: “Being associated with FC Barcelona and working together will only broaden Qatar Foundation’s international visibility and provides us with an opportunity to reach new markets.
"Millions of people will see Qatar Foundation on the shirts of their heroes playing for Barcelona and we hope they will be inspired to learn more – about Qatar Foundation and Qatar.”
FC Barcelona said they will put the UNICEF logo on the back of the team jersey next season after agreeing to extend their support for the UN Children's Fund.
Barcelona's global five-year agreement with UNICEF, whose logo is currently emblazoned on the front of the Spanish league champions' jersey, had been due to expire next month.For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
am very happy for the deal
Nice move! Will help to make Qatar famous as well as projecting a softer, caring side to the national brand's personality in keeping with the Barca tradition established by the previous Unicef partnership.
I find it strange for a charitable organisation to spend this amount of money to sponsor a rich football club like Barcelona. It would have been a better idea if they associate themselves with another similar organisation so they could benefit from each other.
Interesting move, using money previously designed to help the under-privileged, and instead now helping over-paid footballers be even more over-paid.
I agree with Mike!
I support this club now more than ten years and this is the worse they've ever done.
They should rather keep players from their youth like Fabregas instead of transfering them back to Nou Camp for millions more. I love Messi and the likes but there is sometimes more than money to play for a club. If the club would stand for something really helpful, you would know you'd do something good with your abilities.
well they have lots of money so its their wish...