Japanese e-commerce giant and Barcelona front of shirt sponsor, Rakuten, have expressed their interest in securing the naming rights for the revamped Nou Camp stadium. According to reports the reigning La Liga champions are set to receive significant investment from Rakuten for ‘Espai Barca’.
Although no financial details have been released, when the Espai Barca project was approved in April club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said that naming rights could bring in half of the €600m development cost. Valuing the potential Rakuten title sponsorship at around €300m, for a minimum 20-year deal.
Espai Barca aims to be ‘the best sporting complex in the world’ and the redevelopment of the Nou Camp is the focal point of the project, modernising the stadium and increasing capacity to 105,000. Under the Espai Barca project a new Palau Blaugrana will be built with a capacity of 12,500 as well as a new ‘Barca Campus’ – featuring shops, restaurants and club offices.
Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten’s owner, has apparently been very pleased with the ROI generated from the front of shirt deal at Barcelona which is why he is looking to extend the deal to include the Nou Camp naming rights. Helping to take the Japanese brand to the next level, making them a household name globally.