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SBD Global/July 17, 2017/Marketing and Sponsorship

Volkswagen To Replace Mercedes-Benz As Title Sponsor Of German National Team In '19

Volkswagen will from '19 replace Mercedes-Benz as the top sponsor of the German national football team, the company and the German FA (DFB) announced on Friday, according to the AFP. The deal comes as VW "struggles with the fallout" of its "dieselgate" emissions cheating scandal and Mercedes maker Daimler "also faces accusations it rigged air pollution tests." The agreement will run from January 1, 2019 through July 31, 2024 (AFP, 7/15). DEUTSCHE WELLE reported German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung cited "sources close to the negotiations" who said that VW will pay €25M-€30M ($28.7M-$34.4M) a year. The partnership will reportedly include a payment of €6M ($6.9M) for the DFB's national cup competition, which VW already sponsors. A VW spokesperson said, "Football would fit Volkswagen's image because it's the sport of the people." The sum "is a major improvement for German football" as Mercedes pays only around €8M ($9.2M) a year. It gives VW the right to have its logo "printed on the Germany training and pre-match kits," next to the DFB's main sponsor, adidas (DW, 7/13). The DFB said Friday that its leadership "chose Volkswagen unanimously." The DFB added that the decision followed a "detailed economic and substantive analysis" of bids from Mercedes and VW (AP, 7/14). REUTERS' Cremer & Grohmann reported Wolfsburg-based VW has for years "spent heavily on its own Bundesliga football team even though experts have questioned the business case" because VfL Wolfsburg has "only limited revenue streams" and lacks an int'l fan base (REUTERS, 7/14).
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