Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) recently signed a deal with FC Barcelona to put the Intel Inside logo on the inside of Barcelona's jersey. This is the first time the inside of a jersey has been sponsored and Intel paid a reported $20 million for the privilege.
Barcelona is the most popular sports team in the world with rival Real Madrid a close second. To give you some idea of the scale of the fan base, FC Barcelona has 48 million Facebook fans with Real Madrid in second with 45 million. The most popular U.S. team, the L.A. Lakers has 17 million Facebook fans.
Intel currently is the second U.S. non-sportswear company to have a jersey deal with a major soccer team. Last year, General Motors (NYSE:GM) signed a deal with Manchester United (NYSE:MANU) to take over shirt sponsorship starting next season for a reported 25 million Euros per year. Manchester United, with its 38 million Facebook fans, is currently sponsored by UK insurance company Aon, who got the shirt deal after former jersey sponsor AIG was effectively nationalized by the U.S. government.
While GM's deal won't see the light of day till next year, Barcelona's first match with Intel's sponsorship paid dividends when Brazilian star Neymar flipped his shirt over his head after his goal.
Barcelona went on to win 2 -1 versus Villarreal. Safe to say Intel also scored a victory.