Barça, Rakuten present new agreement, highlight common values

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Tokyo, July 13 (IANS) A Japanese company presented its new multimillion-dollar sponsorship agreement with Spanish football giants FC Barcelona on Thursday at a meeting held at its headquarters here, in which both entities said they share the same values and philosophy.

The event was attended by Barça players Lionel Messi, Neymar, Gerard Pique and Arda Turan as star guests, in addition to the Catalan club’s vice president of marketing, Manel Arroyo, and Rakuten founder and CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani, reports Efe.

“This is more than a sponsorship,” said Pique, referring Barcelona’s famous motto ‘More than a club’.

“Barça has a special philosophy and that is why we want to support them with this sponsorship,” said Mikitani.

The event was the official presentation of the commercial agreement signed last November for four seasons between Barça and Rakuten, which makes the Japanese company the main sponsor of the club with the Catalan club receiving 55 million euros (about $63 million) per season.

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This collaboration is a guarantee of success for both parties, said Arroyo, who declared that Rakuten’s vision, innovation and social commitment will help the club continue to grow.

At the end of the presentation, the players posed next to Mikitani and Arroyo with the new Barça shirt with the logo of sponsor.

The Barça delegation is expected to return on Thursday to Barcelona so that the players can join the pre-season training under Ernesto Valverde, the new coach of the first team.

–IANS

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