The Japanese ecommerce company Rakuten has signed a sponsorship deal with Barcelona football club. This means that Rakuten’s logo will appear on Barcelona’s football shirts for the next four seasons, after the club’s previous partnership with Qatar Airways came to an end. Rakuten has allegedly paid over 220 million US dollars for the sponsorship deal, a sign of how important it considers this opportunity. Rakuten’s CEO commented on the sponsorship deal, saying: “Putting our brand in front of many, many eyeballs is itself very, very valuable. Not so many people know about Rakuten... This is our first step to globalise our brand, which is going to be very important for our future strategy.” Rakuten was one of two East Asian ecommerce companies that were in sponsorship talks with FC Barcelona. The Chinese ecommerce site AliExpress was also talking to FC Barcelona, a sign of how Asian ecommerce companies are increasingly turning their attentions westwards as they work to expand globally.