For much of their history, Barcelona took pride in the fact that they did not have a sponsor besmirching the front of their shirts. In 2006, however, the Catalan side agreed to donate the prime advertising space to UNICEF, putting a logo on the kit for the first time in 107 years. Many suspected this was a ploy to pave the way for a corporate sponsor, and they were right: the non-profit Qatar Foundation graced the shirt in 2012, which was replaced by the very-much-for-profit Qatar Airways for the 2013/14 season.
Barca have now taken the sudden leap from no corporate shirt sponsors to two, as Intel have been announced as a new partner. The "revolutionary initiative" will see the Intel logo placed inside the shirt, which is terribly clever because of the tech firm's "Intel Inside" brand campaign. The official Barcelona site has more detail:
The collaborative spirit between the two organisations will be reflected on the new FC Barcelona shirt, which will feature the Intel Inside logo on the inside. This is the first time the shirt has ever featured a logo in such a position.
The idea is that a player will advertise for the computer chip manufacturer when they lift their shirts over their heads during goal celebrations, but an Intel spokesperson has confirmed that Blaugrana stars will be under no obligation to reveal the inside of their shirts "a specific number of times."
As part of the deal, Intel have also promised to improve the fan experience at the Nou Camp (more Intel computers!) and will help the youth players at La Massia, using technology to "strengthen a culture of creativity." According to Forbes, this culture-creativity-strengthening process will cost Intel $25m over five years.
We look forward to the 2014/15 season when the bottom of Barcelona's socks are sponsored by McDonalds and Neymar has "Paddy" and "Power" tattooed on each of his eyelids.
- Sports & Recreation