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Samba Financial Group renews regional deal with Barcelona

Saudi financial services brand Samba Financial Group has extended its regional partner deal with LaLiga’s Barcelona for five more years, from 2018-19 to 2022-23.

Samba has partnered with the club since 2013-14.

The new deal aims to strengthen the brand in the Middle East, where Samba is one of the biggest and most international financial groups and the leader in credit cards in Saudi Arabia.

According to the club, the agreement forms part of the club’s target of “proactively looking for partners that are best-suited to the values and traits that define its brand, and seeking the best possible contracts in each category of the world of sports marketing sponsorships”.

Barcelona’s global commercial director Xavi Asensi told Sports Sponsorship Insider in June that the club will only seek regional deals in the financial, telco and betting sectors.

In the financial sector, the club currently holds seven regional deals. Along with Samba Financial Group, these are with: Emirates NBD Egypt, MayBank, MegaBank, Saigon Hanoi Bank, Scotiabank and SPD Bank.

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The partnership is understood to be a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, and builds on AXA’s existing Global Partner agreement with Liverpool.

The deal is the largest ever sponsorship investment in UK women’s sport and comes less than a year after the league went fully professional in September 2018.

Under the five-year global deal, Oppo will become the first Official Smartphone Partner of The Championships, Wimbledon, as the event is officially known.

US sportswear brand Nike is paying about $7.5m (€6.7m) per year to sponsor China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL), according to industry sources.