In attendance at the event were leading representatives of both organisations, the CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, the President of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell and Vice President of FC Barcelona Economic and Strategy Area, Javier Faus. Al Baker said:
‘This partnership will also raise Qatar Airways and FC Barcelona to a new platform internationally, bringing the fans of FCB closer together.
The airline’s partnership with FCB took effect from 1 July 2013. According to Al Baker, the airline’s expansive communications campaign about the partnership that will cover various elements: ‘our aim with this new campaign is to show to the world how strongly we stand behind this new partnership, which we will share with passengers across our entire network.’ He further described the partnership as ‘a fitting match for both organisations that share the same values: the pursuit of excellence, passion, pride and culture.’
As the State of Qatar’s national carrier, Qatar Airways began operating to Spain in December 2005 and currently flies 10-times-weekly to Barcelona and daily to Madrid. Flying to 129 leisure and business destinations Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world.
FC Barcelona President, Sandro Rosell, said:
We have a long journey ahead lasting three years in which we will share experiences, with a common starting point and goals. Barça and Qatar Airways are united by many ideals, such as a passion to be better each day, the conviction that the human factor makes a difference and the integration of different cultures, but I would emphasize the desire we have to connect with people. And this desire leads us to want to be every day closer to our fans.’
The new sports kit was first showcased during the Asia Tour earlier this month when the team travelled to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok to play friendly matches in preparation for the upcoming season. The fans reunited with the team with great glory and the stands were filled with absolute excitement to have the likes of big players from FC Barcelona squad.
Since its beginnings, FC Barcelona has been characterised by being not just a football organisation, but also a powerful force for globalisation, solidarity, integration and social cohesion. Qatar Airways fully identifies with these values, which is why this partnership between both organisations is much more than just a simple economic alliance. Furthermore, Qatar Airways’ partnership with FC Barcelona will help to position the airline in the world.
Qatar Airways will work with FC Barcelona to create joint initiatives and will especially focus on connecting with the club’s fans and also with underprivileged children to spread the love of the game to all corners of the globe.