A few weeks ago, first rumors surrounding an upcoming sponsor change at football team FC Bayern Munich surfaced in the media. Supposedly, the famous Munich-based sports team have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Audi diesel scandal and how it would translate into their partnership. At the time, the potential conflict was put to bed by Audi by offering a more lucrative sponsorship deal.
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Yet, a recent report on the Bild am Sonntag suggests a different state of affairs: The issue has yet to be finally resolved and behind the scenes, there is a competition for the sponsorship contract. For years, BMW has felt that local football team should be associated with the Munich-based automaker, not only because of its location and heritage, but also because of the power of the two brands who have countless fans all over the world. Without a doubt, FC Bayern Munich is an extremely attractive advertising partner for BMW.
However, the situation is not as simple as with a classic sponsor change, because Audi AG holds shares in FC Bayern Munich. Before BMW could become the automotive partner of the German record football champion, the two carmakers would have to agree on the terms of the share purchase. Audi once paid 90 million euros for 8.33 percent of the club and it’s likely that value of the club has increased since.
According to Bild am Sonntag, BMW would not only be willing to pay a hefty price for those shares, but would also pay more for sponsorship every year than Audi. Whether BMW can land the most prominent German football club as a partner, remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: the football agreement would also affect other sports within the club, since, for example, Audi also supports the basketball players of FC Bayern.