Danone North America has ended a sponsorship deal with FC Barcelona due to the Barcagate scandal at the club which was allegedly initiated by former club president Josep Bartomeu. The Spaniard is being investigated for this scandal.
Danone is a multinational food-products corporation based in Paris, France, and founded in Barcelona, but it also has footprints in the USA and North America. Barcagate scandal was first broke out in February 2021 when Josep Bartomeu was accused of hiring a marketing consultancy firm named I3 ventures to run a false campaign against the club’s most prominent players that were critical of him and the club’s board. Along with FC Barcelona, he was also previously raided by the Catalan police regarding this scandal.
Bartomeu resigned from his post last October and elections were held in March 2021 to appoint a new President. Former club president Joan Laporta won the election by an overwhelming margin. The scandal was also one of the prominent reasons why Bartomeu resigned. The Spanish club revealed that the raid was related to contacting monitoring services on social networks and expressed utmost respect for the judicial process.
Danone North America, a subsidiary of Danone agreed and signed a three-year deal with the club in November 2020. The deal was completed as a part of the club’s initiative to expand operations in the USA. It was reported that the deal was worth €300,000 per year and the first regional partnership for Barcelona’s office in New York.
The company reportedly sent an email to Barcelona regarding the termination of the deal which they signed. The details of the termination of the deal were revealed by the Catalan radio station. According to the EFE news agency, the email was sent earlier this year and the process of termination of the deal was completed few days ago. Danone didn’t wish to hamper their company’s image after the Barçagate scandal in the future and that’s why the deal was called off in the middle.