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Josep Bartomeu reveals how Gerard Pique and Shakira helped Barca get a sponsor deal

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The new deal with Rakuten commences in 2017 and will expire in 2021.

Festa De Esport Catala 2016 : News Photo
Bartomeu with Pique and Shakira at an event

Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, has said that Shakira and Gerard Pique helped the Blaugrana acquire a deal with their new sponsors, Rakuten.

The Barcelona president stated that he first met the Chief Executive Officer of Rakuten in San Francisco in 2015. Bartomeu said that Shakira and the former Manchester United defender are close friends with Mikitani and they helped organise a meeting between the club and the management of Rakuten. Bartomeu also heaped praise on Mikitani, labelling him an incredible person.

“It all began in 2015 with a dinner organised in San Francisco by Gerard Pique, with Mr. Mikitani and us,” the Barça president revealed.  

Also Read: Barcelona sign record shirt sponsor deal with Rakuten, ending partnership with Qatar

“Pique and his partner Shakira are very close friends with [Rakuten CEO] Mr. M Mikitani. It was in the summer of 2015, during the club’s USA tour, when Gerard organised a dinner in San Francisco and Manel Arroyo and myself were at the dinner, where we met Mr. Mikitani, who is an incredible person.”

Bartomeu then insisted that the talking point of the meeting was the future: “We spoke about the future and at that moment Pique helped us a lot to meet Mr. Mikitani, so we are very grateful to him.”

Rakuten Inc. is an internet services company from Japan. They now become the main global sponsors of the Camp Nou outfit and their name will appear at the front of the jersey from the 2017-18 season.

The agreement was finalised on Wednesday at Auditorium 1899. The deal will continue till 2021, with an option for a year’s extension. The Catalan club will receive €55 million a year plus incentives for the next four years as part of the deal.

Also Read: Barcelona News: Josep Bartomeu confident that Lionel Messi will end career at Nou Camp

Rakuten is a highly regarded company that provides internet services. Formed in Japan in 1997, the services provided by the company range from e-commerce, digital content to finance. The company has figured in the Forbes’ Top 20 Most Innovative Companies list every year from 2012.

The Catalans will be hoping that their new sponsors would be just lucky as their previous one and would help club reach greater heights financially and on the pitch.

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