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FC Barcelona have announced one of the biggest shirt sponsorship deals in football history

fcbarcelona[OFFICIAL] Rakuten will be Barça’s new main global sponsor

Japanese online retailer Rakuten will be Barcelona’s main sponsor for the next four years in a deal worth at least 55 million euros ($59 million) a year, the Spanish giants said Wednesday.

Rakuten will replace Qatar Airways, Barcelona’s shirt sponsor since 2013, who were reported to have paid 35 million euros for the final year of their deal taking them up to the end of the 2016-17 season.

“I have the pleasure and honour to announce that the board of directors has approved that RAKUTEN be the new main and global sponsor of the club for the next four years,” Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu told a news conference at the club’s Camp Nou stadium.

Barcelona’s success on the pitch makes it highly attractive to advertisers. Despite Champions League disappointment last season, it won both La Liga and the Copa Del Rey, Spain’s two domestic competitions.

The club also has some of the world’s most recognisable stars — vital marketing assets for the club’s partners — who have millions of followers on social media.

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