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FC Barcelona looks to double sponsorship revenue in Asia

Spanish team expanding sponsor network in soccer-hungry region

TOKYO -- Spanish soccer powerhouse FC Barcelona is making a concerted push into Asia, inking deals with such companies as Japan's Rakuten to tap a market that is growing as European soccer becomes a global phenomenon.

The club signed a sponsorship contract with Rakuten that puts the e-commerce company front and center on the team's uniform starting this season. Rakuten "is a global IT company and commits to local communities," Manel Arroyo, vice president for marketing and communication, told The Nikkei. "The DNA of our club is social commitment."

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