DFB trades in Mercedes for Volkswagen

German soccer’s governing body ends 45-year partnership with car manufacturer.

DFB trades in Mercedes for Volkswagen

The German Football Association (DFB), the governing body for soccer in Germany, has confirmed that Volkswagen will take over from Mercedes-Benz as its new main sponsor.

The five-year deal will be activated in 2019, and will bring to an end the organisation’s 45-year partnership with luxury carmaker Mercedes.

According to news outlet Reuters, Volkswagen will pay somewhere in the region of €25 million to €30 million (US$29 million to US$34 million), including €6 million (US$6.9 million) in sponsor fees towards the DFB German Cup competition. 

The agreement sees the car manufacturer expand its presence within German soccer, having already invested heavily in its ownership of Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg.

Given the sport’s popularity in Germany, whose men’s national team are the reigning world champions, the partnership with the DFB is seen as part of Volkswagen’s attempts to restore its image following the ‘dieselgate’ emissions test cheating scandal in 2015, and coincides with the company’s strategic shift towards increasing its output of electric cars.  

“As a company we have set ourselves some ambitious goals for the next years,” said Volkswagen’s chief executive Herbert Diess. “Volkswagen is changing, we are facing great challenges. The partnership with the DFB will help us in that way.”