Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
September 15, 2016: After months of planning, Gillette has officially signed a multi-year deal that makes it a global marketing partner with FC Barcelona, one of the most iconic franchises in sports and one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world.
Gillette, which had been a regional partner of the club in Latin America, now becomes a Premium Partner for the next three seasons.
Financial terms were not released.
Gillette, a division of Procter & Gamble, said this was its first global partnership with a soccer club.
The men's grooming brand joins a Barcelona roster of marketing partners that includes jersey-front sponsor Qatar, Nike, Audi, Gatorade, Toshiba, Stanley Black & Decker and Allianz.
“Partnering with FC Barcelona was a natural fit for Gillette, as both organizations share similar core values — precision being one of them — in our respective pursuits to being the best in the world," Francesco Tortora, global brand director for Gillette, said during a media conference on Thursday (Sept. 15) in Barcelona. "We’re excited to promote the world’s most popular sport, while giving fans more opportunities to take part in something they love.”
FC Barcelona is valued at $3.55 billion, third in the world behind the NFL's Dallas Cowboys ($4 billion) and Real Madrid ($3.65 billion), according to Forbes.
The club has one of the largest fan bases in the world, including 18.5 million followers on Twitter and more than 94.3 million likes on Facebook.
Star player Neymar Jr. himself has 25 million followers on Twitter.
Gillette had been supporting its regional partnership deal with multi-media marketing, including using company spokesman Neymar Jr. in advertising, most recently during the Summer Olympics.
The brand will now extend marketing worldwide, including a new TV spot with Neymar Jr. along with fellow first-team players Ter Stegen, Luis Suárez, Jordi Alba and Andrés Iniesta, which was previewed during the media event.
The global alliance comes on the heels of Barcelona opening its first U.S. corporate office, located on Park Avenue in New York.
Owners said the new office "ensures the club has an ongoing presence in the North American market, and represents a key step toward implementing its 2016-2021 strategic growth plan."
Gillette has naming rights to the home stadium for the NFL's New England Patriots, which also could offer opportunities for Barcelona.
According to Manel Arroyo, vp-marketing and communications for FC Barcelona, “The premium sponsorship agreement with Gillette consolidates the club’s aims to globalize, as shown by the opening of the new office in New York, and the on-going campaign to be associated to the leading brands.
"Gillette has a long tradition in the world of sport through athletes and national teams, but this is the first deal with a football club. There is no doubt that Gillette and FC Barcelona share essential values to ensure their success: precision and excellence," said Arroyo.
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