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Intel’s hidden ad gamble pays off in first game of deal with FC Barcelona

Barcelona forward Neymar pulls his shirt over his face. (Luis Genellius Gene/AFP/Getty Images)
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It didn’t take long for Intel to enjoy the effects of its new partnership with Spanish soccer team FC Barcelona. Forward Neymar lifted his jersey during Saturday’s match with Villarreal, revealing the Intel Inside logo. While the Intel portion of the logo was partially obscured, it appears the company’s hidden logo won’t lack for visibility during the five-year deal with FC Barcelona.

“I know it’s bizarre and strange because it’s not shown on a day-to-day basis, but it’s more about the symbolic space,” said David Haroldsen, Intel’s vice president of sponsorship. “It authentically tells the story of who we are rather than just being another brand that is visible with all the other logos that exist. We believed we would have more value with the symbolic placement with occasional pop-up moments within the game.”

Haroldsen expects other brands will attempt to use ads inside jerseys. He pointed to Intel as one of, if not the only brand that could authentically use an inside-the-jersey ad because its processors are within computers and generally not visible to consumers.

“People can’t touch our processor. It’s something that’s inside the computer,” Haroldsen said. “For us to at least start the dialogue to connect with consumers, we need to introduce that concept.”

Intel is also providing technological solutions for the team and connecting with fans on Instagram and Twitter for ticket and computer giveaways. Next year the Intel Inside logo will begin appearing on official team jerseys that are sold to fans.