La Liga giants FC Barcelona have handed over exclusive merchandising rights to Japanese partner Rakuten, which will offer various products with the club’s branding over it. With the new agreement in full effect, Rakuten will roll out a variety of Club related merchandise in Japan, which will include a range of products from fashion items to food products, as their merchandising strategy sees them evolve from a sports club to a lifestyle brand.
As the La Liga club is constantly looking for opportunities to expand business within the country, it is exploring other merchandising opportunities by collaborating with artists and developing goods incorporating Japanese. The e-commerce firm will display for sale the new range of products, with additional merchandise to be developed collaborating with the partner companies.
The football club’s BLM (Barca Licensing and Merchandising) is working with Rakuten, among other leading corporations, with a vision to create an extensive Barca merchandise program with a wide range of products to expand its reach across the globe even more.
Despite Rakuten getting the merchandising rights for Barcelona in Japan, the contract between both parties will come to an end after the 2021/22 campaign. The deal signed in 2016, which was supposed to get expired by the end of the recently concluded season, was extend for one more year. The Cules received a considerable amount of financial support from their shirt sponsors as they paid a hefty €55 million (US$64 million) annually as a part of this deal.
Meanwhile, they are hopeful to get a handful of big names on free transfers, as buying someone will not be a part of their plan when they themselves are in such a huge debt. Barcelona president Joan Laporta told media on Friday that many investors are keen to help the club to get out of the financial turmoil. The Spaniard also admitted that the club’s finances will be normal and healthy after two years.