Online bookmaker Interwetten has renewed its deals with two German Bundesliga clubs – TSG Hoffenheim and VfL Wolfsburg – until 2022-23.
Both relationships had been due to expire at the end of the 2019-20 season.
Sources say the new Hoffenheim deal is valued similarly to the previous agreement, which began in 2017-18, at about €1m ($1.1m) per season. The brand is paying a slight uplift at Wolfsburg: the deal value has risen from about €700,000 per season closer to €800,000 per season.
At Hoffenheim, Interwetten is a premium sponsor and receives TV-relevant advertising space, extensive hospitality, plus visibility across the club’s platforms and hospitality services. It conducts extensive promotional activities and will give away two season tickets to Hoffenheim fans in each season of the deal.
At Wolfsburg, the brand holds multiple assets, including its logo on LED signage at the club’s stadium, as well as on Cam Carpets next to the goals and on press walls and via digital branding. It will retain its status at the presenting sponsor of the club’s Man of the Match award and various live statistics on the club’s social media platforms.
The bookmaker is strongest in Germany and Austria and very familiar with the sponsorship market in both (negotiations with both clubs were handled directly with no agency adviser or broker).
Elsewhere – such as in striking a two-season front-of-shirt deal with Spanish club Sporting Gijón in August 2019 – it has worked with agencies (Sportradar, in that instance).
SportBusiness also understands the brand is on the verge of stepping up its partnership with the Greek Super League: a three-season title rights deal worth €2m per season is thought to be close to completion.
Keen to renew
The Covid-19 pandemic has limited dealmaking in global sponsorship but had little influence on Interwetten’s decision to renew with Hoffenheim and Wolfsburg; the bookmaker prefers stable, long-term partnerships.
Interwetten’s sponsorship, PR and marketing lead, Lukas Reichl, told SportBusiness: “For us sponsorship is a very important part of our advertising strategy and we know we want to follow that path in the next years. It basically makes sense for us to do long-term sponsorship but always with some important clauses that allow us to exit deals in extraordinary circumstances but we want to fulfil contract and we want to use the sponsorship as well as possible.
“You get the biggest effect when you make long-term agreements, short term sponsorship doesn’t make sense in terms of activation and connecting with fans, it takes some time to achieve this.”
The brand is happy with both relationships and particularly the quality of the clubs’ digital activations. Reichl explained: “Wolfsburg surprised us with their really strong affinity to new digital innovations, they have a big social media community, they belong to the top eight clubs in German Bundesliga when it comes to social media reach. They want to the first mover when it comes to digital activations like 5G.
“We can learn from this and they can help us with our own ideas when it comes to digital strategy on our own channels.
“Both clubs are very flexible when it comes to new ideas and digital activation. They are really down to earth clubs; they have fan community with a really good reputation.”