Puma CEO Björn Gulden confirmed the company's interest "in entering a strategic partnership with Borussia Dortmund," according to REUTERS. Gulden said in an interview, "It's a possibility." There "have been rumors that Puma wants to purchase a stake in Germany's only publicly traded club" since shirt sponsor Evonik increased its involvement and acquired a 9.06% stake in Borussia Dortmund. However, Gulden said that "there is no rush to make a decision." He said, "We have a kit supply deal with Borussia Dortmund until 2018, so no matter what, we are in a long-term relationship with the club" (REUTERS, 8/9).
Major League Soccer side D.C. United on Friday "announced a partnership" with EPL side Sunderland, according to Martin Pengelly of the London GUARDIAN. The two clubs, which already had a “friendship agreement,” will now share “expertise, benefit and promotion” on both sides of the Atlantic. Sunderland Owner Ellis Short is from Texas and the club also employs U.S. striker Jozy Altidore. News of the Sunderland-DC partnership came shortly after the conclusion of a raft of preseason fixtures involving Premier League teams in the U.S., each seeking to increase its presence in a “market” which is seen to be growing rapidly. Sunderland Commercial Dir Gary Hutchinson said, “This is a major step forward for Sunderland ... and a really exciting development for us in the U.S. market. We are continually looking at new ways to develop our international profile and our partnership with DC United will help us to build closer links with this key territory" (GUARDIAN, 8/8). D.C. United COO Tom Hunt said, “Through this partnership we look to share best practices on both the technical and commercial side, while also helping Sunderland increase its brand recognition in the nation’s capital and throughout the U.S.” (MLS).