Bayern Munich close to hitting the brakes on Audi, switching to BMW

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are reportedly close to signing a new sponsorship deal with German carmaker BMW, which could take over from rival brand Audi as the club’s Official Car Partner.

Audi’s contract with Bayern is set to expire in 2025, but BMW is reportedly willing to pay a higher annual fee and purchase Audi’s stake in the club as part of the deal.

BMW, a local brand whose global headquarters is located in Munich, is willing to buy out Audi’s 8.3 per cent stake in the club, which it acquired for €90m in 2011.

Audi had reportedly approached Bayern with an offer to extend its current partnership for another five years with an increased fee, but Bayern turned it down in favour of inking a new deal with BMW.

Experts believe Bayern may wish to disassociate from Audi because it is owned by Volkswagen, which remains tarnished by its 2015 emissions scandal.

But while Audi’s current partnership with Bayern is still active, it can refuse to terminate the contract ahead of its expiry date.

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The partnership is understood to be a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, and builds on AXA’s existing Global Partner agreement with Liverpool.

The deal is the largest ever sponsorship investment in UK women’s sport and comes less than a year after the league went fully professional in September 2018.

Under the five-year global deal, Oppo will become the first Official Smartphone Partner of The Championships, Wimbledon, as the event is officially known.

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