Qatar Airways announced on Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with FC Barcelona (FCB) to renew its partnership with the Spanish club’s first team until June 30, 2017.
The agreement will allow Qatar Airways and FCB to partner together for another season of world-class football, the Doha-based carrier stressed in a press statement.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker said, “Three years ago, the joining of FCB and Qatar Airways was truly history in the making, as this was the first time we entered into such a landmark sports partnership. We feel very proud of the milestones achieved by the team during the last few years and it is a great honour to have the opportunity to remain standing side by side with the club.
“This new agreement shows the world how strongly we stand behind FC Barcelona, and we look forward to a great upcoming season together.”
Qatar Airways entered into a strategic three-year partnership with FCB in July 2013, which has seen the airline “develop a multitude of activations together with the club that have gone well beyond simply having the name of the carrier on the team jerseys”.
The FC Barcelona jersey.
The airline features the team in its safety video, shown to all passengers before departure, which has also become a hit across all social media channels, generating nearly 40mn views within the first four weeks of its debut.
Since the partnership took effect, Qatar Airways has launched a number of successful campaigns, including “The Land of FCB” and “The FCB Holiday” - building on the concept of “a team that unites the world” - and has officially sponsored the FC Barcelona summer tours.
In addition, the airline painted the FC Barcelona custom-designed Boeing 777, introduced unique tour and match packages for fans looking to visit Barcelona through the Qatar Airways Holidays division and organised a number of successful social media contests to celebrate the sponsorship with fans, the statement noted.
Serving more than 150 destinations, the airline has “helped Barcelona widen its fan network around the world, while at the same time championing their shared values of excellence and pride in their community bases”.
Qatar Airways and FCB have also worked closely to develop strategies to promote Barcelona in Asia, and this has produced an important increase in passengers from the Asia Pacific to Barcelona, the airline adds.
Since the commencement of the sponsorship in 2013, Qatar Airways has also doubled its frequencies to both Madrid and Barcelona, expanding both routes to full double-daily services, bringing thousands of tourists every week to Spain from around the world.
Qatar Airways currently operates 14 weekly non-stop flights from Barcelona to Doha with connections to points across the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa.