Football: Barcelona's shirts will feature a corporate sponsor for the first time

BARCELONA - For the first time in their 113-year history, the famous blue-and-red shirts of Barcelona will feature a corporate sponsor when the 2013-14 season kicks off in August.

The Spanish giants on Monday confirmed a three-year, ¤30 million (S$48.5 million)-a-year deal with Qatar Airways.

The Doha-based airline will replace the Qatar Foundation charity on the club's playing kit, as part of a five-and-a-half year deal stuck with Qatar Sports Investments in December 2010.

At a press conference held at the Nou Camp, Barcelona president Sandro Rosell stressed that the deal was necessary for the club to stay ahead of its rivals, saying: "If we want to remain competitive, we need resources and marketing is the way forward."