FC Barcelona has announced an unprecedented step by selling the naming rights to the Camp Nou for the first time since the stadium opened in 1957.
The Spanish club said it will sell next season’s rights and hand the proceeds to charitable activities and the fight against coronavirus.
The deal will last for a year, after which the search for a permanent title holder would continue. Barcelona’s stadium has never had a title, still less a commercial one.
International press praises the transfer of Camp Nou naming rights to the Barça Foundation (@FundacioFCB)— FC Barcelona (from 🏠) (@FCBarcelona) April 21, 2020
After the United States, Spain has been the second worst affected nation by the coronavirus pandemic, with the country so far reporting more than 204,000 cases and 21,200 deaths.
In a statement, Barcelona said that the money raised from the sale of the stadium naming rights will be used “to invest in research projects being carried out in Catalonia and the rest of the world involved in the fight against the effects of Covid-19.”
Barcelona announced that they would cede the title rights to the club’s charitable foundation, which would manage the process. They hope to find a sponsor in the coming weeks and plan for part of the monies raised to go towards charities involved in the investigation of Covid-19.
This move is reminiscent of Barca’s decision to name Unicef as their first ever shirt sponsor in 2006. Rather than being paid, the club contributed €1.6m a year to carry Unicef’s name, serving as a soft launch for commercial sponsors thereafter, beginning with the Qatar foundation and then Qatar Airways.
“We are very happy to be able to drive forward this initiative that offers something as emblematic as the name of our stadium, so that institutions, organisations, businesses who wise may associate themselves with it and as such, contribute to the fight against COVID-19, given that their investment will used to finance research projects on the illness and projects that are working to eradicate or lessen its effects.
Right now, we can quantify the effects of this health crisis but what we do know is that it will require all our resources to defeat it and for that reason it is so important that we all together make a solid, firm commitment.”