The money generated by sponsorship at Barcelona has dropped from €55 million to €30 million. Cinto Ajram, who led the sponsorship activation at Camp Nou during Josep Maria Bartomeu’s tenure, thinks it depends on the captain.

Barcelona face sponsorship money reduce

Sports marketing expert Cinto Ajram believes the uncertainty surrounding Lionel Messi’s future was more detrimental to sponsorship at Barcelona than the coronavirus. The money generated by sponsorship at Barcelona has dropped from €55 million to €30 million. Ajram, who led the sponsorship activation at Camp Nou during Josep Maria Bartomeu’s tenure, thinks it depends on the captain. “It’s a reality that the coronavirus is massively cutting back on sponsorship money because it has had a huge impact on brand visibility,” Ajram told reporters. “But the current agreement is about €30 million more talking about Rakuten’s reaction to the uncertainty around the future of Leo Messi. I would even wonder if this agreement is now valued at €30 million.”

Messi’s comments when he wanted to leave Barca hurt the club the most

The situation when Rakuten first teamed up with the Catalan club was utterly different. “Rakuten started a relationship with Barcelona had Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar,” Ajram added. “Commercially, they were huge, and now Barcelona is offering a renewal without Suarez and Neymar. And there is doubt about whether Messi will stay. When you sell the Barcelona brand around the world, you use Messi’s face. Under these conditions, no brand would dare to renew for another three or four years because they do not know the value of a club without a player”. The captain’s comments, which say that he wanted to leave Camp Nou last summer, is what Ajram thinks hurt the club the most.

“What caused the most damage was that Messi said he wanted to leave,” Ajram explained. “Because a lot of fans are just Messi fans. Liike the others with Cristiano Ronaldo and when he left for Juventus from Real Madrid they changed teams.”