FC Barcelona played its last LaLiga match of the season at the Club’s iconic home stadium Camp Nou last night. At the match, Rakuten expressed its gratitude to FC Barcelona and all 400 million Barça fans around the world for a historic five-year partnership in a unique way, celebrating Rakuten’s partnership with the Club through free giveaways, special branding and once-in-a-lifetime jerseys.
Rakuten and FC Barcelona announced their ground-breaking partnership in 2016, naming Rakuten as FC Barcelona’s Main Global Partner and first-ever Global Innovation and Entertainment Partner starting from the 2017-2018 season. The partnership saw the company’s name appear on match-day jerseys, with living soccer legends like Sergio Busquets, Gerard Piqué, Frenkie de Jong and Marc-André ter Stegen carrying the brand into millions of living rooms across the planet.
Since the introduction of the first Rakuten jersey, highlights have included the record-breaking largest human soccer jersey ever — created by roughly 4,000 participants in New York — and the launch of Matchday – Inside FC Barcelona, Barça’s official documentary series. In 2020, the Club’s first-ever fan-made façade, The Big Picture, was unveiled.
Throughout the partnership, Rakuten has showcased its technological prowess while helping to bring the Club closer to fans around the world. FC Barcelona was welcomed to Japan for the first time at the Rakuten Cup 2019 Supported by Scalp D, special events were held and a unique FC Barcelona exhibition even opened in the heart of Shibuya.
Arigato — Thank you, Barça Family!
As the partnership draws to a close after an unforgettable five years, Rakuten is expressing its gratitude to the Club and the fans by saying “Arigato” — thank you — for every goal scored, each deep emotional connection made, all of the support received and for the warm welcome into the Barça Family over the past half decade.
From the first day of the partnership, Rakuten has felt the passion, kindness and warm welcome from the Barça Community. The last day of the partnership is just as important as the first, and the company would like to express their gratitude to FC Barcelona and the amazing Barça fan community for five years of unforgettable experiences.
While Rakuten may be leaving the jersey for now, we will always be there for the fans — because we’re fans too. Força Barça!