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DFB to start 2019-20 season without beer partner

The German Football Association (DFB), the governing body in charge of Germany’s national football teams and domestic cup competitions, will start the 2019-20 season without a beer sponsor.

Long-time partner Bitburger, the DFB’s beer sponsor since 1992, allowed its contract to expire in early 2017. The deal was reportedly worth about €10m ($11.1m) per year. Since then, talks with rival brand Krombacher have come to nothing and no other brand has come forward.

The difficulty in finding a new beer partner has been exacerbated by Bitburger’s long-term association with the national team, but also because German beer brands are frequently linked to Bundesliga clubs by regional affiliation.

Outside the beer sector, the DFB has been successful in signing off renewals or new business.

In the last two years. the DFB has signed with courier company Deutsche Post until the end of 2020, banking partner Commerzbank until July 2024, airline Lufthansa until the end of 2022, online betting brand Bwin until 2022, and vehicle inspection company Dekra until June 2021.

In 2017, Volkswagen signed as the DFB’s lead partner in a deal from January 2019 to July 2024. In 2016, sportswear brand Adidas extended its long-term partnership until 2022.

After Adidas and VW, the DFB’s’s portfolio now comprises Bwin, Coca-Cola, Commerzbank, Deutsche Post, Engelbert Strauss, Flyeralarm, Lufthansa, Rewe, SAP and Samsung.

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