The most visible communication asset a football team has is its shirt. Traditional thinking was always to sell it to the highest bidder. However, for the team that was ‘more than a club’, could the shirt become a brand positioning statement and at the same time, save lives?
In a match against Milan, FC Barcelona made history by walking onto the pitch with the UNICEF logo proudly displayed on their shirts. Instead of having a brand pay to be the team’s shirt sponsor, FC Barcelona chose to reverse the rules, promoting and donating money to the international charity. By disrupting the norms of football sponsorship, FC Barcelona achieved global notoriety and, as a result, generated more sponsorship income than any other football brand.
A simple idea that transformed the notion of sponsorship and resulted in FC Barcelona jumping eleven places to become the second most valuable football club brand in the world.