Barcelona Shirt History - All Kits, Manufacturers and Sponsors covered

There have been many theories put together as to why FC Barcelona chose red and blue as their primary colours, but the one that the club believes in funnily relates back to a school based in the UK. On their website, the club publicly backs the claims that their colours were copied from the rugby team of a school which goes by the name of Merchant Taylors in Crosby, Liverpool. Two brothers, Frederick Arthur and Ernest Witty, who were very active in the club’s early years attended the school. Time to embark on a journey through the club’s manufacturer and front of shirt sponsorship history…

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Barcelona Shirt History - Downloadable Checklist

Barcelona kit history graphic covering ever shirt from 1990

FC Barcelona Kit Manufacturer History

1998 – present – Nike

This partnership has now surpassed a decade and plenty of success, for both the brand and the club, has been enjoyed since its start date. Over the years, we have seen the club’s iconic colours displayed in various ways, but for the first three seasons of this deal all parties seemed fairly adamant on having a central club crest. Barca’s home shirt in 1999/00, which incorporated this feature, had a special look to it with commemorative stitching celebrating their 100th anniversary.

Barcelona 1999/2000 Home Shirt

The 2003/04 campaign was the birth to a fantastic, aesthetically pleasing range and many supporters would have been pleased to see the away top from that season kept on as their third shirt for the following year. Although, the light gold alternate kit, which included red and blue horizontal pinstripes, isn’t the most renowned shirt of its second campaign with the home top pipping it to this post given Lionel Messi debuted in it. 

In 2005/06, Barcelona’s first Champions League trophy in fourteen years was achieved meaning all of the jerseys from that campaign have a special place in Barca hearts – a player that was integral to this success is Ronaldinho, another one of footballs biggest icons. Part of this collection was a bright yellow away top, which certainly sticks in the memory. 

All of the shirts released in 2007/08 pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Camp Nou and part of the recognition for this landmark came in the form of commemorative stitching around the club crest. Their tonally striped turquoise away strip from this season was well received and it was even used following campaign as the third kit – it’s succeeding away top was a stunning yellow and it had a conjoined red and blue stripe flowing down through the crest area. 

The Barcelona 2008/2009 shirt is one of the most popular shirts due to their success that season. It's the match worn Barcelona shirt collectors that love he Champions League version as it has a blue panel in the back to comply with UEFA's rules. Here is an example - 

Bravely, Nike hasn’t always stuck to the traditional vertically striped Barca home tops, with other variations coming in a number of seasons. For example, in 2012/13 the club wore a navy top which was split by a red gradient centre. Another noteworthy example is the chequered red and blue strip which came in 2019/20.

The American brand has also been known to produce unique Barcelona jerseys which have only been worn for a specific game or competition. In 2020/21, a striking El Clasico top was released and for the first time ever it combined the Blaugrana stripes and the Catalan flag. In 2021/22, a jazzy display of those famous red and blue stripes was exclusively used in the Champions League – it included various illustrations, designed by supporters, of the city and all of its neighbourhoods.

Speaking of the city, a number of alternate shirts worn since 1998 also referred to it in a number of ways. Their peach third strip from 2018/19 had an embossed aerial view of Barcelona’s famous Eixample District and its blocks, the stunning 2019/20 third top had an all-over print of the Barcelona coat of arms, and in 2021/22, the clubs first ever pink kit was inspired by the city’s sea and beach. 

Despite some of the iconic designs and the fact that Nike penned a fresh 10-year-deal with the Catalonian club in 2018, it remains to be seen how long they will remain as the club’s suppliers, with reports surfacing in March 2024 that all is not what it seems between the pair. The higher ups at Barcelona reportedly believe that Nike has fallen short of the standards they promised when the deal was signed. 

1992 – 1998 – Kappa

Kappa’s first home strip was worn until the end of the 1994/95 campaign and it famously saw back-to-back La Liga titles in 1992/93 and 1993/94. It had a classical feel to it from the off, as the word ‘Barca’ and Kappa logos were embossed into its background. Another impressive feature was the fact that its polo neckline had a twist to it, as a centrepiece, also reading the word ‘Barca’, brought it together. 

Barcelona 1993-1994 Home Shirt

The design of this jersey seemed to kickstart a bit of a trend, as each of the shirts used in the league and cup for the remainder of this partnership incorporated similar features, including the teal away top, which was worn over the same aforementioned three-year period. It was another eye pleasing look and key feature of it was its one red and one blue stripe which was running over each of its shoulders. 

There is no doubt that the home top used from 1995 until 1997 is incredibly smart, but the abstract patterning of the away strip worn within that same period of time just seems to catch the attention of more eyes. It had shapes, outlined by black, breaking it up into different sections that were either coloured teal, red or blue. Teal was by far the most prominent colour.

Barcelona 1997-1998 away shirt

The Italian brand provided Barcelona with European specific kits throughout this period and, most of the time, the differences between these and the regular jerseys were quite subtle. However, in their final campaign, Kappa decided to manufacture four shirts that had quite large distinctions, despite keeping to the same colourings. Both the patterning and the necklines were altered. 

1979 – 1992 – Meyba

Meyba were founded in 1940 and they originate out of Barcelona, so it would have no doubt have been a proud twelve-year period in partnership for the brand. It was topped off by the fact they got their fairy tale in ending 1991/92, with the club lifting their first ever European Cup at Wembley. A Barca side featuring the likes of Hristo Stoichkov, Pep Guardiola, Ronald Koeman and Michael Laudrup beat Sampdoria 1-0 in the final.

Despite the fact that on the night, Barcelona wore their striking orange away jersey, Nike produced a modern version of the home kit used for that campaign in 2016/17. 2016/17 marked 25 years since the achievement. Its original release was in 1989 and it had thin tonal stripes within its large, iconic red and blue ones. It is quite fitting that the success came in this shirt’s era, as all of the other Meyba home tops were fairly minimal. 

Coincidentally, the previously mentioned historic away top was the first new release of a Barca away kit since 1985. It replaced a blue jersey which had a conjoined vertical red and blue stripe running down its right. A rare light red version of this was occasionally used as their third kit from 1988 until 1990.

Meyba started their spell with the club by keeping their predecessors sash alternate strip, which we will touch more on in the next section…

1965 – 1979 – Mont-halt 

It is perhaps no surprise that Mont-halt were the first brand to strike a manufacturing agreement with the club when you read that it is owned by the family of the then Barcelona president, Agustí Montal i Costa.

Most of the shirts released during this period were minimalistic and traditional, but as touched on in the last section, Mont-halt can take credit for the clubs first ever sash strip. The concept was released on a yellow away top for the first time in 1975/76. Nike have since been inspired to produce a modern look of this and they did so in 2019/20.

FC Barcelona Shirt Sponsor History

Barcelona are unique in the sense that their first every front of shirt sponsorship deal was struck as recently as 2006…let’s see who that was with! 

2022 – present – Spotify

Not only did Spotify secure their slot on the front of a Barcelona jersey, but they also found an agreement to earn the naming rights of the historic Camp Nou, now known as The Spotify Camp Nou. 

The audio streaming platform labelled the deal as ‘a first of its kind partnership to bring music and football together’. One of their promises was to ‘work together to create opportunities for the iconic shirt to be a space that celebrates artists from across the world’, and this has already been fulfilled. Illustrations paying tribute to Drake, Rosalia and the Rolling Stones has already replaced Spotify’s slick branding in El Clasico’s since the deal begun. 

2017 – 2022 – Rakuten

Rakuten is a Japanese technology conglomerate which offers a wide variety of products to private and corporate customers.

The deal was reportedly worth £47m per year, making it one of the largest deals of its kind when it was struck.

Barcelona Home 2019 Home Shirt

There is nothing to dislike about Rakuten’s branding, with their feature simply being their name with a small dash underlining it. 

2013 – 2017 – Qatar Airways 

There were claims that Barcelona had ‘sold its soul’ when their deal with Qatar Airways was announced in 2013. 

The airline was established by the government of Qatar in November 1993, but operations commenced in January 1994.

The club did consider moving away from Qatar Airways due to ‘social issues’ in 2015, but the deal was eventually seen through and even extended for a further year than originally planned. 

Barcelona 2013-2014 Away Shirt

2011 – 2013 – Qatar Foundation 

Despite years of resistance from the Catalan giants, in 2011 money finally talked and the club moved on from UNICEF to secure a front of shirt sponsorship deal that they would benefit from financially for the first time in their history.

Reports suggested that ‘the club's sizeable debt meant that they were no longer in a position to turn down valuable income’, and that their deal with the Qatar Foundation was set to become ‘the most lucrative shirt sponsorship deal in football history’. Some say it was a move made by Qatar to prove their commitment to football following FIFA’s decision to award them the 2022 World Cup. 

Barcelona 2012-2013 Home Shirt

The Qatar Foundation, who had a text-based feature, is a non-profit organisation which runs projects focusing on education, scientific research and community development. It was founded by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, in 1995.

2006 – 2011 – UNICEF

For years Barca had refused sponsorship deals and in 2006 they abided by their motto, which is ‘more than a club’, when they agreed to pay UNICEF for the use of their logo within the front of shirt sponsorship slot. 

UNICEF is a children’s charity that, in their own words, ‘works in over 190 countries and territories to save children's lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence’. It was hoped that the partnership, which Barcelona paid 1.5 million euros per year for, would help to raise awareness of the organisation and inspire others. 

Albeit in a different format, the pair continued to work together following the end of this agreement. 


It was sad to see Barcelona move on from UNICEF in the manner that they did, although their current deal with Spotify is no doubt exciting and innovative. Due to the length of the partnership, whoever replaces Nike will be under huge scrutiny, but at the time of writing this article rumours are surfacing on social media that one of the options that the club is considering is manufacturing their own shirts…are Barca about roll back the years and make history again?