The President and managing board of the footballing giant FC Barcelona reportedly turned down a bumper USD 79.4 million deal with an unnamed crypto exchange company that wanted to become its shirt sponsor from next season – with the board worried that crypto is an “unethical” sector.
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The claims were made by Marca, Spain’s top sports newspaper, which reported that during the long search for a new shirt sponsor, Barcelona “received several bids from cryptocurrency exchange companies” that offered more money than Spotify – the music streaming firm now set to become Barça’s sponsor for the 2022-2023 season.
As previously reported, the club has become increasingly tied to crypto in recent years. Late last year, another Spanish news outlet named Binance and FTX as being in the race to seal a sponsorship deal with the club.
A number of other crypto companies have expressed a desire to sponsor the team, with key crypto partnerships already in place. These include a partnership with Socios.com and Chiliz, which have launched the club’s fan tokens.
But, the media outlet wrote, the club President Joan Laporta “felt safer” with Spotify’s lower offer.
The board was quoted as stating:
“[Crypto] is a speculative, risky, highly volatile and unethical sector.”
The offer in question was approved by a number of Barcelona’s “internal teams,” including its compliance department, Marca stated. But both the club’s commercial department and its board of directors took a dim view. “Other proposals from the crypto industry” were submitted subsequently, Marca added, but all were “similarly” rejected.
In addition to the USD 79.4m contract fee, the unnamed crypto exchange was prepared to offer a 20% results-based bonus depending on the men’s team’s on-field performance.
The Spotify contract is reported to be worth considerably less. Although it is still yet to be confirmed, media outlets agree that the deal is now in its final stages.
Marca claimed that the Spotify deal will be worth between USD 79m and USD 85m, but this figure includes performance-based bonuses, as well as shirt sponsorship of the men’s first team shirt, as well as the Barcelona women’s team, the back of the club’s training shirts, and even naming rights for the Camp Nou – Barça’s iconic stadium.
As such, Marca noted,
The Spotify offer “is worth significantly less than the deals that were offered by the cryptocurrency companies.”
FC Barcelona is one of the biggest clubs in the world and was one of the last major teams in Europe to add a shirt sponsor to their uniform.
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