Barcelona seals landmark Mission Hills deal, signs first North African sponsor

Barcelona has signed a major commercial partnership with Hong Kong-headquartered hospitality, sports and leisure company Mission Hills Group which the Spanish LaLiga football club says will represent a “new step forward” in its global positioning strategy, while it has also acquired its first sponsor in North Africa.

The Mission Hills deal has been widely reported in recent weeks but was formally signed today (Friday) at a ceremony in Hainan, China. The agreement will run for an initial 10 years, with an option to extend this for a further decade.

Through the agreement, the two parties will build the first ever FCBEscola academy to be fully run by the club, with seven training pitches and the capacity for 1,000 boys and girls, as well as a Barça experiences area in Haikou, the capital of the island of Hainan.

The park will include an interactive area about Barcelona’s history, a megastore and a catering zone, all of which will be opened shortly.

Barcelona’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, said: “We shall work with Mission Hills to make Hainan a football centre for China and for the region in general. With this goal in mind, we are bringing our football academy here to Haikou. This will be our first school fully managed and supervised by the club. We are also opening an interactive FC Barcelona experience area, the first one outside of Barcelona, where visitors will be able to find out what it feels like to be part of one of the most widely-loved football clubs in the world.”

Tenniel Chu, vice-president of Mission Hills Group, added: “This is a historic moment for China. It is an honour to have this strategic partner helping us to boost football both in China and globally. We expect good results and to be able to contribute to the professional football world.”

In other news, Barcelona has signed a three-year regional sponsorship agreement with dairy products manufacturer Land’Or.

The deal encompasses the Tunisian market and represents the club’s first such agreement in North Africa. Barcelona and Land’Or will co-operate on image rights and digital activations.