The airline will be sponsoring the first team’s tour of Asia that will take them to Thailand and Malaysia in August
Qatar Airways, which will become the club’s main world sponsor on July 1, will also be the title sponsor of FC Barcelona’s tour of Asia in August in which the team will be playing a match in Bangkok on the 7th against the Thai national team and another in Malaysia on the 10th in Kuala Lumpur against a selection of the best players in the country.
This will be Barça’s first ever trip to Malaysia, but the team is returning to Thailand after previously playing a friendly there in 2002. There is huge expectation about the chance to see the Barça stars in action and both stadiums are expected to be packed for the games, namely the Rajamangala national stadium in Bangkok and the Bukit Jalil national stadium in Kuala Lumpur, with the capacity for 50,000 and 100,000 spectators, respectively.
Sandro Rosell, president of FC Barcelona, has announced how pleased he is that the Club “is returning to Asia this summer with Qatar Airways. We are very much looking forward to seeing our Thai friends again and returning to their country for the first time in more than ten years. This tour will also enable us to visit Malaysia for the first time, where we know we have a lot of dedicated supporters. We want to feel close to them, especially the children, and for them to enjoy the team and our players, and get to know our club better, a club unlike any other in the world, and also our country. We thank Qatar Airways for their support, as we visit these fans that have dreamed for long about the chance to see our players live.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways, Al Baker, highlights how both the airline and Barça “have an important fan base in the southeast of Asia. We are happy to be able to work with our partner, FC Barcelona, to arrange this trip to one of the parts of the world where there are the most fans. Both fans of Qatar Airways and Barça can expect to see pride and passion in everything we strive to do as individual organisations and as partners. We are excited about forming part of the FC Barcelona family and welcoming the club into our own.”
To bring the more than one million fans on their official Facebook site closer to Barça, Qatar Airways has set up a competition on its page in which the winners will be going on a trip to watch Tito Vilanova’s side play live. The airline’s Facebook fans can also win such prizes as signed shirts and VIP match tickets, and even an invitation to meet two players at a private autograph session. The competition ends on July 31.
Barça has more than 43 million fans on Facebook around the world, making it the most followed sports team on this social network. In terms of numbers, their Malaysian and Thai fans are 15th and 22nd in the list respectively.