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Soccer for all, electric cars for all

As of this year, Volkswagen is the partner of the DFB and the German national soccer team. We explain why the people’s sport and Volkswagen are an ideal match – and how soccer will help to promote broad acceptance of e-mobility.

Soccer is the people’s sport: it is emotional and brings people together. It is classless, unites all social strata and is popular on every continent. Around 250 million people in over 200 countries actively participate in the sport, and far more follow the major tournaments. The last World Cup in Russia alone enticed 3.4 billion viewers to their televisions – almost half of the global population.

Soccer is therefore ideally suited to Volkswagen. The Wolfsburg-based company has been active worldwide for decades, with sites in Europe, Asia, America and Africa. Over six million brand vehicles are produced in over 150 markets and in 14 different countries. Democratization has always been at the heart of Volkswagen’s self-image – as a broadly based people’s brand that makes contemporary mobility possible for broad sections of the population.

Partners in spirit

Two days before the first qualifier for the European championship, the national team visited the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg.

Volkswagen is currently facing the biggest challenge of its corporate history – its development into a leading mobility service provider and source of e-mobility for millions. There could thus hardly be a better time for a partnership with the German Soccer Association and the national team. Volkswagen is Europe’s biggest automobile brand, and the DFB is the largest national sporting federation in the world – together, the two partners can achieve a great deal. The aim of the cooperation is to bring the people’s sport and Volkswagen closer to the general public as partners in spirit. And, at the same time, to enable broad sections of society to experience the realignment of the brand, its transformation and pioneering role for e-mobility.

One focus of the communication is on the diversity of soccer and of Volkswagen’s commitment. The latter applies not only to the national team, and the women’s and junior national teams as well, but also to the 21 Federal state associations and the 25,000 clubs in Germany. For many years, the brand has supported amateurs and professionals, men and women, adults and children in practicing their favorite sport. Its activities include organizing the Volkswagen Junior Masters, Germany’s biggest soccer tournament for boys and girls in the C and D age groups, and supporting cultural projects such as the international soccer film festival “11mm.” In addition, Volkswagen has supported regional soccer for the deaf, the training of aspiring coaches in Lower Saxony and the German Academy for Soccer Culture.

The VfL Wolfsburg team – seen here at the champions’ celebration in 2018 – is the most successful German women’s soccer team in recent years.

Within the partnership, Volkswagen also supports fans who follow their teams to every stadium, car sharing for teams to away matches, and parents who drive their children to the soccer field every weekend. Other activities are aimed at fans and volunteers in equal measure. This commitment is bolstered by numerous sponsoring packages in various countries. Beyond the DFB, Volkswagen is a partner of the national associations of France, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Luxembourg and the USA. In Sweden, Volkswagen is a partner of the soccer leagues. In Germany, Volkswagen is also a partner of clubs at its own company locations: from VfL Wolfsburg and VfL Osnabrück to Hessen Kassel, FSV Zwickau and Chemnitzer FC. Then there is the club sponsoring of RB Leipzig and Werder Bremen. Sponsorship of VfL Wolfsburg, in particular, has a tradition which has spanned decades and was crowned by the Bundesliga championship title for the men’s team in 2009. The women’s team has won as many as four German championships in the past five years, and has won the UEFA Women’s Champions League twice.

From Dublin to Bilbao

Herbert Diess at the championship ceremony for the VfL Wolfsburg women’s soccer team, with goalkeeper Almuth Schult and CFO Frank Witter.

Another true highlight is the partnership, begun in 2018, with the UEFA for their national team competitions, the centerpiece of which is EURO 2020. This spectacular tournament will, for its 60th anniversary, be held for the first time in 12 cities throughout the whole continent – from Dublin to Baku, from Copenhagen to Bilbao, from Munich to London. For Volkswagen, the European championship is the perfect time to present the new I.D. in the key European market with maximum impact. The first e-car to be designed electrically from the ground up will be the face of Volkswagen’s new electric mobility family starting in 2020. In this spirit, EURO 2020 will also help e-mobility achieve its definitive breakthrough as the drive technology of the future.