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Qatar Airways–FC Barcelona sponsorship deal: a catalyst of sports diplomacy?

Bülent Aras (Center for International Policy Research, Doha, Qatar)
Meltem Özel (Adiyaman University, Adiyaman, Turkey)

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship

ISSN: 1464-6668

Article publication date: 30 April 2024

97

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to evaluate how Qatar Airways’ sponsorship of FC Barcelona affects Qatar’s sports diplomacy and brand awareness. It focuses on the sponsorship’s demand strategy and takes into account the opinions and attitudes of Spanish nationals toward Qatar and Qatar Airways.

Design/methodology/approach

To assess this, a survey of 434 Spanish nationals from 17 different regions from four zones (North, South, Center, and East) in Spain between November 3, 2022 and November 21, 2022 was conducted using a strata sampling method.

Findings

We argue that Qatar Airways’ sponsorship of FC Barcelona serves to improve Qatar’s recognition and national reputation in Spain. We also found that there is a need for consistent sponsorship and marketing efforts in sports diplomacy to better fulfill public diplomacy aims. Overall, this paper concludes that Qatar Airways’ sponsorship of FC Barcelona positively contributes to the country’s sports diplomacy despite significant challenges.

Originality/value

The major contribution of this study to the literature is the discussion of the role of sports sponsorships in the recognition of the sponsor, which was assessed through conducting a quantitative analysis of public opinion in the sponsored team’s host country.

Keywords

Citation

Aras, B. and Özel, M. (2024), "Qatar Airways–FC Barcelona sponsorship deal: a catalyst of sports diplomacy?", International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSMS-09-2023-0192

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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