Are Barcelona the most marketable football team on the planet?

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It seems as though a week can’t go by without Barcelona being linked with a new endorsement deal in some form or another, be it the club itself or one of the Catalan giants’ star-studded players. While the highest profile members of the Barca squad probably need a sizeable Excel document to keep track of their various endorsements, even those lesser known players at the club are hot property in the eye of companies looking to use Barcelona’s global popularity to boost their brand. While the club’s main shirt sponsor comes from Qatar Airways and Nike, you can see a host of logos scattered around the Nou Camp highlighting just how marketable the club are. It often seems like you can’t turn your head without seeing a new billboard or commercial featuring Barcelona players.

For brands looking to attach themselves with the world’s best players, you don’t get much bigger than Lionel Messi and Neymar. The two South Americans both boast huge levels of popularity around the world, and it’s no surprise the club’s two best players are also their most marketable. While Messi has endorsements with brands as wide ranging as Turkish Airlines to Adidas, Neymar has worked with the likes of Police sunglasses and 7 Up, successfully increasing their profiles among mainstream society as well as in the footballing world.

The Brazilian superstar has seen a huge increase in his endorsement deals following his move from Brazil to Barcelona, and recently became an ambassador for PokerStars, the largest online poker cardroom in the world. Following in the footsteps of fellow Brazilian footballer Ronaldo, tennis champion Rafael Nadal and Holland’s Olympic gold medal winning hockey captain Fatima Moreira de Melo, Neymar linked up with the most popular poker site in the world. The forward, who has been a long-time fan of the game, will use his time away from the pitch to appear in a number of live and online events, including the start of the PokerStars European Poker Tour, which kicked off in Barcelona this month.

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Even new arrivals find that their endorsement offers significantly increase after signing with Barcelona. Take Turkish midfielder Arda Turan, who recently made the move to the Nou Camp from Atletico Madrid in the summer. Despite being captain of the Turkey team, Turan hasn’t enjoyed the highest profile during his career, which is somewhat surprising considering the success the 28-year old has enjoyed in La Liga ever since he left Galatasaray in 2011. That looks to be changing now, though, and Turan followed up his transfer to Barca by signing an endorsement deal with Lassa Tyres.

The deal seems like an obvious fit. The Turkish company became Barcelona’s main sponsor for their indoor sports teams earlier this year, and they have wasted little time in linking up with the second player from Turkey to sign for the club, agreeing on a two year deal with Turan that will see the midfielder act as a global brand ambassador. The agreement means Lassa now have exclusive endorsement rights in advertising and promotional products with the Turkish international, with the midfielder also set to appear in commercials alongside his new Barcelona teammates.

While Lassa Tyres aren’t as well known a brand as Adidas or PokerStars, the deal will do a lot to boost Turan’s profile both in his home country of Turkey and across the world. The three-time Turkish footballer of the year has already seen his popularity significantly increase in the short time he has been at Barcelona. Despite the fact that Turan has been a key part of an Atletico Madrid side that have enjoyed a very successful couple of years, the midfielder has slipped somewhat under the radar while the likes of Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and more recently, Antoine Griezmann, received many of the plaudits.

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Having watched Cesc Fabregas and Xavi leave the club over the past two years, Barcelona have been looking to strengthen their midfield since the end of last season. After establishing himself as one of the most underrated players in La Liga over the past few years, Turan had been on the radar of a number of clubs across Europe, most notably the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool. When Barcelona made their interest known, though, the Turkish national team captain had no hesitation in bringing an end to his time at the Vicente Calderon Stadium and signing for the Catalan giants.

The defending La Liga champions will start the season as the slight betting favourites to retain the title. While Real Madrid have swung their financial muscle around again this summer, Barcelona’s transfer activity has been much less headline making with just two signings; Turan from Atletico and Aleix Vidal from Sevilla. But with a front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, it’s hard to see just how Real or any other team in the league are going to be able to stop Luis Enrique’s men from storming to their 24th La Liga title.

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One Response

  1. brn442 September 8, 2015

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