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Barcelona and Rakuten sign exclusive deal

Barcelona seals exclusive merchandise deal with Japanese company Rakuten

May 27, 2021 By Michelle Bonsu
The Blaugrana and the Japanese conglomerate have decided to extend their partnership, which dates back to 2016.

Although Barcelona weren't able to win the La Liga title, and currently face a great deal of uncertainty about their manager and several star players, plus are dealing with some major financial woes, the Blagurana nonetheless are trying to make sure that business continues to proceed as normally as possible.

That includes extending their partnership with Rakuten. Barcelona and the Japanese conglomerate have been partners since November 2016, when they first inked a four-year sponsorship deal with the e-commerce organization to have the company's name on their kits. In November 2020, Rakuten opted to extend their deal for another year through the 2021/2022 season. 

The deal is estimated as approximately $67 million (€55 million) per year according to SportBusiness Soccer

In addition, in 2019, Barcelona further solidified their ties with with Rakuten by signing a unique year-long collaborative agreement with Vissel Kobe, who play in Japan's top tier. Vissel Kobe are also owned by Rakuten, and this deal saw an exchange of youth players moving back and forth between the two teams while each side helped the other with scouting players in their respective markets (European and Asian).

The new arrangement between Rakuten and Barcelona will really excite Japanese fans, as it's set to introduce new merchandise. Supporters will be able to purchase things like stationery, toys, and even food items that are all branded, and in addition, the club noted that it's exploring exciting concepts like collaborating with Japanese artists to further highlight the nation's culture.

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