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Marketing in non-profit organisations - case study

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barcelona shirt.pngFC Barcelona "Més que un club" ('More than a club').

Since its founding, Barcelona has never worn corporate advertisements on their shirt. On 14 July 2006, president Joan Laporta signed up to a five-year collaborative agreement with UNICEF that saw Barcelona not only sport the children's charity's banner on its shirts, but also donate €1.5 million per year to to its humanitarian projects each year (0.7 per cent of its ordinary income, equal to the UN International Aid Target) via the FC Barcelona Foundation. Barcelona had rejected significant money offers to be the first shirt sponsor of the football team.

Obviously that sort of money barely registers a dent in the club's finances, but if the amount they could have made from selling to a conventional sponsor is considered, the decision is staggering.

"For the first time in our more than 107 years of history, our main soccer team will wear an emblem on the front of its shirt," said Laporta at a UNICEF executive committee meeting.

noucamp.png"It will not be the brand name of a corporation. It will not be a commercial to promote some kind of business. It will be the logo of 'Unicef'. Through UNICEF, we, the people of FC Barcelona, the people of 'Barça', are very proud to donate our shirt to the children of the world who are our present, but especially are our future."

Barcelona's initiative has encouraged other football clubs to follow a similar path. In 2010 Serie A soccer club ACF Fiorentina agreed a shirt sponsorship deal with international charity Save the Children. The partnership includes several joint initiatives for fundraising and promoting the charity.

However, in December 2010, Barcelona ended their long term stance of refusing commercial shirt sponsorship by signing a record €150m shirt sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation. The Catalan giants who paid to carry the Unicef logo for the previous five years and the children's charity will share shirt space with the new sponsors.

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  1. Define the following terms:
    1. Sponsorship
    2. Logo
  2. Explain the reasons why FC Barcelona and ACF Fiorentina chose to sign the collaborative agreement with international charities rather than accepting corporate sponsorship.
  3. Examine why Barcelona has now decided to end their long term stance of refusing commercial shirt sponsorship by signing a sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation.
  4. Using UNICEF and one other non-profit organisation, discuss how their marketing techniques differ from profit making organisations.