Barcelona Set the Philanthropic Example in Sports Marketing

When most people think of marketing for charity, they think of small blog writing services companies championing a movement.  Their causes are normally convincing, and they make a small but significant difference in the UK.  Ultimately however, they don’t have the same effect as a much bigger blog writing services campaign on behalf of a private company would have.

Some blog writing services may not have the resources that a large multi-national company does, and unfortunately in this world, it is normally the smaller companies that champion major causes and it is the larger ones that continue to go all out in search of profit despite having already having secured a life of luxury for many of its employees.

Football’s Elite

Barcelona are one club that is breaking the mould.  While football clubs get ever more corporate, with vast turnovers, merchandising operations and global television deals, Barcelona have done something to set themselves apart from the rest.

Barcelona are as guilty as anyone of pursuing profit from a global market.  This is exemplified by the television deals signed by themselves and Real Madrid that safeguards their position as the Spanish La Liga’s elite clubs, leaving the others unable to pay players in a vain attempt to keep up.  However the shirt sponsor has always been an interesting issue.


In Spain, a shirt sponsor is not always accepted as easily as it now is in the UK.  Barcelona, up until 2006, never had one to adorn their shirt.  Real Madrid, in their centenary year, dispensed with the sponsor while various other clubs have also played with a sponsorless shirt.

On the 50th anniversary of the Munich disaster, UK clubs Manchester United and Manchester City played in shirts that were of the same style that would have been worn 50 years previously – sponsorless.  Other than this, instances of British clubs forgoing a sponsor are rare.

In fact, the lack of a sponsor can be seen as a thing of shame.  West Ham played without a sponsor after the airline that sponsored them went out of business, while various leagues and competitions may have been a little embarrassed at various struggles to find sponsors.

Breaking Tradition

Barcelona broke their sacred tradition to not wear a sponsors logo on their chests for the first time in 2006 when they partnered with Unicef.  Supporting a charity seemed reasonable enough, so long as the terms were fair for the charity.  What was more impressive was that Barcelona actually paid Unicef for the right to advertise them on their shirt, rather than the other way around!

Under the terms of the agreement announced today, Barcelona will keep the logo on their shirt, albeit on the back, at a cost of £1.25 million a season.  The terms of their shirt sponsorship with Quatar Sports Investments for the front of the shirt shows that the placement of the logo is worth 30 million Euros per season.  Quite a deal for Unicef.

Blog writing services, for all their endeavours, cannot compete with the real estate of being marketed on the shirt of one of the world’s most famous football teams.  It is a surprise that there are not more clubs in the UK that follow Barcelona’s example, as a charity emblem on the back of the shirt could generate goodwill.

Sporting Charity

That’s not to say that all other sporting teams don’t do their bit for charity.  Far from it.  It is perhaps more likely that all of the UK’s clubs participate in some charitable events.  Pick up your local paper, your local teams magazine or a local football daft blog writing service and you will likely see the players visiting sick children in hospital or attending various events around their local area.

Clubs also tend to donate player wages that are fined to local charities.  Players are often fined for missing training, for being sent off in a match or for other various indiscretions.  It’s highly unlikely a club will reabsorb the fined wage, and since the money is being donated to a good cause – it is less likely that the player will challenge the decision.

While these are commendable steps, few, if any, other clubs have actually taken the decision to forgo the sponsorship revenue from the front of their shirt in order to support a charity.   The charitable events help boost the profile of the club in the community.  No club ever appears to actually put charity ahead of profit in the way that Barcelona appear to have done.   Or have they?

Cyncial View

There may be a less selfless reason for Barcelona’s motivation to advertise a global charity.  The idea of wearing a shirt sponsor was a difficult one for many of the club’s most passionate fans to entertain.  This is much like the issue of stadium sponsorship in the UK.  While a stadium like the Emirates where Arsenal play their football is accepted as a branding exercise, as it is a new stadium, it is met with opposition from blog writing services, fans forums and even protests outside stadiums when the idea is suggested for an existing stadium.

Barcelona staff would be aware of the value of the shirt sponsor in this modern era and what it could bring to the club.  For a club to compete at the highest level it needs to maximise its funds at every level.  The shirt sponsorship deal with the Qatar Sports Investment firm is worth 30 million Euros a season.

To put that number in perspective, Barcelona’s turnover was 494 million Euros in 2012.  That’s 6% of all the money they bring in, just on a shirt emblem.  Think of the cost in putting that on the shirt?  It isn’t very big compared to something like match day expenses.  Losing 6% of their turnover would result in the loss of one or maybe more of their expensively assembled squad of 20+ players.  Cesc Fabregas and Dani Alves are two expensive stars whose transfer fees would have been paid by the shirt sponsorship deal.  Star player Lionel Messi could be paid for two years on the basis of the deal.  The pressure for Barcelona to break with tradition and print a sponsor across their players chests is huge.

So perhaps, in an attempt to soften the blow of the clubs oldest tradition, the club made it about a good cause, using Unicef as a way to smooth a transition towards a short sponsor by getting the fans used to the idea.

Charity Doesn’t Have to Be Selfless

Now for many, if the few years of sporting the Unicef logo was all about chasing a bigger prize at the end of it was proven to be the desire behind the deal, then all of their initial goodwill undone.  This doesn’t have to be the case however.

Unfortunately we live in a profit driven world.  A man cannot devote his life to selfless good deeds if he receives nothing in return for them.  While many of us would like to be out fighting the world’s battles, we know that doing it at the expense of a regular wage just isn’t possible, or we will become a charity case ourselves.  Blog writing services would love to write about all the ways we could make the world better, but unless somebody is going to fund it, nothing is going to happen.

We also know that many won’t be motivated by philanthropic pursuits, especially at an early age.  When we talk about charity, and deride others for having a selfish interest in it, in the end, all that suffers is the charity.

Reality of Charity

There may well be situations where people work for a charity, motivated by nothing but the pay check.  We may prefer to believe that every person is a caring soul but it clearly is just not the case.   When a charity needs skills to further its business – it needs to pay for them.  They cannot compete with a for profit corporation on wages, so working for a non profit company means a lower salary from an employee who may be saddled with debts from tuition fees from learning the very skills that got him a job.

We have a tendency to criticise people who take a salary from a non-profit.  But these jobs consume people; they have no time to earn a living salary on the side.  If they don’t take a salary, they can’t consider a job in a non profit, as otherwise how do they pay for a roof over their head and food?  Yet we will criticise charities for spending too much on admin and staffing costs rather than those working in the profit sector who chose the bigger pay packet rather than work with a non profit.

Similarly on the subject of administration costs, we criticise non profits for spending on things that grow a business, such as advertising or blog writing services, rather than simply handing all donations over to those in need.  This again is not realistic.  Companies can’t hand over cash from every single sale to their shareholders, why should a charity?  Our narrow views hinder their progress.

Ted Talk

For a really inspiring speech by Dan Pallotta on the subject of charity and how we should all change our attitudes towards it, visit

Blog Writing Services View

Barcelona profess to be more than a club (mes que un club).  They are a symbol for the entire region of Catalunya.  They also have an objective to be the best football club in the world.  At times this ambition will clash with desires for philanthropic pursuits, as in today’s world, you don’t become the best at anything without investment.  Blog writing services hope other big companies can at least note the effort, and while they may not be able to sacrifice everything for charity, at least take a greater look at what they can do.