FC Barcelona Femení and plant-based meat manufacturer Heura Foods have joined forces in a sponsorship agreement.
Heura (which was founded in Barcelona) will work with the football club and its players to highlight the benefits of a plant-based diet.
Heura’s products are now being served at all of FC Barcelona’s home matches. The brand is also being promoted on LED screens around its Estadi Johan Cruyff home stadium. A pre-season friendly against Montpellier earlier this month was the official debut of Heura’s sponsorship.
The agreement comes as women’s football has been enjoying a huge surge in popularity, particularly following the 2022 European Championship.
A meeting of Barcelonian minds
Heura’s sponsorship of FC Barcelona is the result of shared ambition and commitment to improve the world and drive equality within sport. It follows an impressive rise to prominence by the alt-meat start-up. It raised more than €4 million in under 12 hours of its crowdfunding campaign.
Giving credence to the brand’s claim that it is the fastest growing plant-based company in Europe, the successful raise fuelled Heura’s ambition to disrupt the food system with alternatives to animal meat.
“When you have a why you always find a how. Our partnership with FC Barcelona women’s team is another stepping stone towards challenging the status quo,” Marc Coloma, CEO and co-founder of Heura Foods, told Plant Based News.
He continued: “By allying with such an inspirational and determined club, we are bringing plant-based options to more and more people internationally. [We are] helping set new goals for the plant-based industry in general. This is just the beginning.”
The football club shared in a press statement: “The agreement between FC Barcelona and Heura Foods has been possible thanks to a series of common values.” It noted that these include “the commitment to innovation, effort, and teamwork and a shared desire to have a positive impact on society.”
“Both brands will work on different initiatives to promote a more sustainable food system globally while collaborating to give new impetus to women’s football.”
The initiatives are yet to be expanded on. However, they will include specifically created educational content to be shared through both parties’ channels. The content will aim to inform the public about how plant-based foods can complement their lives. But also, how they can be a sustainable substitution for animal meat and dairy.
Can football ever be plant-based?
The connection between football and vegan food is not unique to Barcelona.
In March this year, German league champions VfL Wolfsburg secured support from Oatly. However, it bowed to dairy industry pressure to keep cow’s milk firmly on the menu. But there have been more successful attempts to connect plant-based living to one of the world’s favorite sports.
Forest Green Rovers has made headlines for its environmental approach to professional football. Fully vegan since 2015, the club is touted as the world’s first carbon-neutral team. This is due to a number of factors, like its electric van and solar-powered pitch floodlights. All of its players regularly eat plant-based food and green energy supplier, Ecotricity, is the main sponsor.
Elsewhere, plant-based meat manufacturer Meatless Farm partnered with Real Madrid to create a plant-forward performance diet for its players.
Similarly, Quorn and Liverpool FC are working together to bring plant-based options to home matches. They are also investigating the impact of meat-free foods on players’ recovery times.