Toyota will become the official car for big Spanish soccer team F.C.
Barcelona during the 2004-2005 match season, a company spokeswoman has told just-auto.

Toyota will hand 26 models including its Prius, Land Cruiser, Corolla, Avensis and Previa to the team, popularly known as Barca. In exchange, the group will provide Toyota with advertising space in match stadiums.  Barcelona-based Barca is Spain’s biggest soccer team, competing head-to-head with legendary Real Madrid.

Toyota has launched big sponsorship activities in Spain, a growing market where sales rose 41% last year, marking the highest increase in Europe.

The company is the official backer of the Spanish soccer team alongside mobile-phone giant Vodafone and has sponsored the Valenci football team in Valencia,
Eastern Spain.

The automaker also backed the Catalan cultural fair Barcelona Forum (investing €9 million), and was its representative car, supplying 45 vehicles.

Toyota will continue to carry out sports marketing efforts, including the possible renewal of its 3-year Valenci contract after 2006, the spokeswoman said.

Ivan Castano