FC Barcelona has announced that Qatar Airways will take over as the club's shirt sponsor from the start of the 2013-14 season as part of the agreement with Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), reports SportBusiness. Barcelona on Friday stated that the current five-year contract signed with QSI permitted the possibility of including a new logo on the shirt from the third season of the agreement.
The Qatar Foundation has served as the club's shirt sponsor for the past two campaigns, succeeding Unicef, which became the first brand to occupy Barcelona's famous shirts after the club agreed to such deals in August 2003.
Under the new arrangement, Qatar Foundation will revert to the role of official human development partner of FC Barcelona.
Sandro Rosell, president of Barcelona, has welcomed Qatar Airways as "an ambitious brand with global aspirations, always committed to achieving the utmost excellence in its field".
Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, added: "We are delighted to form this alliance with FC Barcelona, the biggest football club in the world. Qatar Airways has been voted best airline in the world for two consecutive years and will work with FC Barcelona on activities of benefit both to fans and passengers, offering tangible rewards to both organisations."
A Qatar Foundation spokesperson said: "When we started this fantastic journey with FC Barcelona, our objective was to work closely with the club, the team and the supporters to promote awareness of Qatar Foundation on an international scale. This has been a huge success.
"In fact, the first two years of the collaboration have surpassed our expectations and we are looking to deepen and strengthen our relationship with FC Barcelona and its supporters around the world in our continued role as a proud partner of the club."