Spanish soccer giants Barcelona have extended their shirt sponsorship deal with Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten for the 2021/2022 season.
The existing contract, worth €55 million (US$64 million) annually and signed in 2016, was due to expire at the end of the current La Liga campaign, but Barcelona have exercised an option included in the original agreement to add another year to the deal.
The arrangement ensures that Tokyo-headquartered Rakuten will remain as Barcelona’s main sponsor and global innovation and entertainment partner until 30th June 2022, with its logo continuing to appear on the front of the team’s playing shirts.
The pair highlighted that they were renewing their partnership at a time ‘marked by the social and economic effects’ of Covid-19, and noted that the assets included in the extension will be ‘optimized’ for the circumstances of the post-pandemic era.
Barcelona’s training kit deal with domestic appliance brand Beko, which is also the team’s sleeve sponsor, is similarly due to expire at the end of the 2020/21 season, but Mundo Deportivo reported in August that the Catalan club were looking to extend that partnership as well.
Beko’s most recent three-year deal, signed in 2018, is worth a reported €57 million (US$67 million).
Mundo Deportivo’s report in August said that both Rakuten and Beko were looking to continue their deals at a reduced price, but it is unclear if the value of Barcelona’s contract with their main shirt sponsor has changed under the one-year extension.