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Cupra takes over from Audi as Barça’s global car partner

LaLiga club Barcelona and Seat-owned sports car brand Cupra have signed a global partner deal for the next five seasons.

Cupra replaces long-term car partner Audi in the car category. SportBusiness Sponsorship understands that Audi paid the club about €5m ($5.5m) per year in cash, and a further €1m in value-in-kind, under the last contract from 2014-15 to 2018-19.

Under the new deal, Cupra becomes the club’s new Official Automotive and Mobility Partner. The two organisations will work together on marketing and sponsorship activations, and develop new projects aimed at the improvement of urban mobility.

The outskirts of the Camp Nou, for example, will be used as a testing ground for urban mobility projects.

The agreement includes rights to a ‘Cupara VIP Room’ at the Camp Nou for every home game and brand visibility inside the stadium. Plans are also in place to build an installation outside the stadium to allow Barça fans to learn about the brand.

Luca de Meo, Seat president and chairman of the board of Cupra, said: “This innovative alliance with one of the world’s greatest football clubs shows our strong commitment to the Cupra brand and the future of mobility in Barcelona. Furthermore, partnering with a universal institution such as FC Barcelona with a fanbase of over 340 million will support our globalisation strategy.”

In the Audi contract, the players were obliged to choose form a range of Audi vehicles for use at the club’s ‘official business occasions’. It is unclear whether they players will be similarly obliged to drive the Cupra cars.