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Some examples of charity sport sponsoring

11 October 2009

Shirt presentation with the sponsor

Since 1898, FC Barcelona‘s team-jersey is blank from any sponsor. Today, we are witnessing a radical change in the club’s policy regarding sponsoring, although the brand new Chamions League champion has had an original approach : experiencing financial difficulties in 2003, the club started thinking about taking an official sponsor for the first time. The Austrian online bookmakers Bwin, the Beijing Olympics 2008 or Qatar Airways made propositions up to EUR 25.000.000 for five years, but none of them got the jackpot. Barcelona wanted to anticipate the following years, and being “Mes que un club“, they didn’t want to promote a commercial brand after overcoming its financial situation. Why? …

The Catalan club had an informal agreement with the Basque club Atletico Bilbao that stated that, like the national teams, the clubs had to represent their regions (the Basque Country and Catalonia), and therefore not to have any sponsor. When the two clubs finally decided to resort to sponsoring, they swore to choose an “ethically compatible partner”, and whilst Atletico started playing proudly with a large EUSKADI (Basque government funding) on their chest in 2004, Barcelona still hadn’t reached any agreement. The club wanted to go even further, and that’s why it chose to partner up with the UNICEF. Instead of receiving money, the club was commited to pay EUR 1.500.000 in five year to the United Nation’s body for childhood, as well as 0,7% of the revenues of its private foundation… like any European country which has to pay 0,7% of its GDP to the United Nation’s campaign for child education. This is how the FC Barcelona symbolises ethical acting in a world where too few clubs follow in the footsteps of the Barça.

A heart for children

I spontaneously think about the “Ein Herz für Kinder“-logo which we could see on the first half of the season on the shirts of the new German champion VFL Wolfsburg [blog]. In this PR-action, it was the main sponsor Volkswagen who gave up its “shirt-space” to the charity organisation who works for children for 30 years now. Another campaign crossing my mind was the blue “Schools for Africa” stripe on Team T-Mobile’s cycling jerseys, and of course the very popular “Livestrong” campaign of Lance Armstrong who currently races in Italy for his -still- team Astana.

Armstrong ride for Livestrong more than Astana...

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