Barcelona is stepping up in the battle against the coronavirus by handing over the title rights to the Camp Nou to raise money for research projects to battle the pandemic. The club announced on Tuesday that the stadium's title rights are going over to the club's foundation, with all revenue from the title sponsorship going toward the cause.
The rights will be sold for the 2020-21 season.
Here's Barca's announcement:
We're living through the biggest health, economic and social crisis in modern history and FC Barcelona has taken an exceptional decision, which humanity requires at such a moment of great uncertainty, to counter the effect of this global pandemic that has paralyzed the world. Conscious that Barça has a commitment to society through its identity as 'More Than a Club,' the Board of Directors, the governing body chosen democratically by the members and presided over by Josep Maria Bartomeu, have approved the ceding of the title rights of Camp Nou for the season 2020-2021 to the Barça Foundation to raise money to invest in research projects being carried out in Catalonia and the rest of the world to aide in the fight against the effects of COVID-19.
The foundation will begin the process of finding a title sponsor for next season, and the money will go to both local and global research projects and other projects aimed at reducing the effects of the virus. It's the first time Barca is ceding the rights. The foundation will immediately begin to find a partner for the title rights.
"We are pleased to be able to offer up something as emblematic as the name of our stadium to contribute to the fight against COVID-19," club and foundation vice president Jordi Cardoner said in a release. "The sponsorship investment will be used to finance research projects on the illness and other projects related to eradicating or lessening its effects. Right now, we can't quantify the effects of this health crisis, but we know it will require all of our resources to defeat it and for that reason, it's of upmost importance that we all work together to combat this.
"The cause, fighting against the coronavirus, is a global one. Being the top sporting entity in the world means that we must take on this challenge as fully as we can and if we can serve as inspiration for other organizations involved in the battle, perhaps we can create a wave of hope for millions of people around the world who are suffering due to this pandemic."
The value of the naming rights for a 20-year period is about €300 million according to ESPN. With that estimation, Barca could possibly stand to raise around €15 million for this cause as a result.