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Bayern Munich drive off with lucrative Audi renewal

Leon Goretzka of FC Bayern Muenchen during the 2019 Audi Cup (Photo by Alexander Scheuber/Getty Images for AUDI)

German car manufacturer Audi has signed off on a four-year sponsorship renewal with Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich in a deal thought to be worth between €50m ($54.8m) and €60m per year.

Audi’s existing agreement was due to expire at the end of the 2024-25 season but has been extended until the end of the 2028-29 campaign in a new deal announced today (Tuesday).

The renewal between Bayern and Audi, which holds an 8.33-per-cent shareholding in the Bavarian club, comes after the breakdown last year of a proposed deal between Bayern and rival car manufacturer BMW.

Audi, which first became a club sponsor in 2002, will retain its status as the exclusive automobile partner of the Bundesliga outfit.

The early contract renewal will place a particular focus on electrification with all first-team players to receive a fully electronic Audi ‘e-tron’ vehicle. Within the agreement, Audi will have scope to run campaigns and events featuring other brands within the Volkswagen Group.

Hildegard Wortmann, Audi board member for sales and marketing, said: “FC Bayern fits perfectly with Audi’s strategic realignment. As the exclusive automobile partner of FC Bayern, we have the opportunity to present new concepts of mobility, electromobility and connectivity, and make them tangible.”

A leading aspect of the sponsorship remains the backing of the Audi Cup, an annual pre-season exhibition tournament held at Bayern’s Allianz Arena.

Audi had previously been expected to be supplanted as Bayern’s automobile sponsor by BMW but the proposed agreement with the Munich-based automotive giant collapsed last year. It was widely reported that BMW’s last-minute request for a withdrawal clause had been the reason the deal never got over the line.

BMW was said to be ready to purchase Audi’s stake in the club as part of the agreement. Audi purchased the shareholding in 2011 for €90m. Adidas and Allianz also hold stakes in the club.

A renewed agreement with Audi worth in excess of €50m per year would represent a significant jump in value. The Ingolstadt-based car manufacturer is currently thought to pay in the region of €40m per year for its sponsorship.