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YouTube star Felipe Neto sponsors Botafogo to make football history

Jorge Flamengo
Botafogo are eighth in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A.

Botafogo have become the first professional football club in the world to have a YouTube star among their shirt sponsors.

The Brazilian side have reached a one-off agreement with Felipe Neto -- a Brazilian internet celebrity that has 16 million followers -- with his entertainment channel the 41st most-subscribed account on YouTube.

Neto, 29, recently launched a food brand named 'Neto's' which will be displayed on the club's jersey in Monday's league game at Palmeiras.

The Rio de Janeiro-based club said in an official statement that the partnership could be extended.

The statement read: "Botafogo announces the one-off sponsorship of Neto's food brand 'Neto's' on the uniform of our professional team for Monday's game against Palmeiras, the 37th round of the Brazilian league.

"Led by YouTuber Felipe Neto, the brand will be printed on the team's jersey.

"Felipe is a known Botafoguense fan... He has never used Botafogo to promote himself, on the contrary.

"This is a commercial partnership that will start in the game against Palmeiras but we are sure that it will continue for longer."

Botafogo, who have 1.19m followers on Twitter and 251,000 on Instagram, are hoping the mutual partnership will help them attract more fans on social media.

Neto expressed his excitement about the agreement by posting a video on YouTube, while also telling the club website: "I'm delighted and radiant. It's a dream for any fan to one day be able to collaborate with your beloved club.

"I have to thank Botafogo, the club executives and Marcio Padilha [Botafogo's marketing vice-president].

"When we began to study ways to strengthen the brand, we immediately thought of a sponsorship that would speak to the people of Rio. Botafogo is undoubtedly an immense exhibition."

Botafogo are eighth in the Brazilian league, 20 points adrift of league leaders Corinthians.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.


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