Ever wonder why Bayern Munich isn’t sponsored by the car company whose name literally means Bavarian Motor Works? Well, it’s because in 2014 Audi purchased a sizable chunk of Bayern shares and became the club’s official car partner. Now, according to a report by Bild (via TZ), BMW are ready to push Audi out and become Bayern’s new car partner for a tidy sum of over a hundred million euros.
The story so far
Apparently, BMW have been lobbying Bayern for several weeks to become the club’s new corporate shareholder. Apparently, they’ve wanted to do this since 2015, but only now have the negotiations become concrete.
However, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess got wind of these plans and offered Bayern a new and improved sponsorship contract until 2030, presumably with a significant monetary increase over the current deal. Bayern’s Supervisory Board have yet to confirm or reject the deal.
Neither the company nor the club have commented on the rumors.
What does it all mean?
It’s easy to see why BMW want to sponsor Bayern Munich. Aside from the two being Munich-based brands with a global presence, Bayern are the biggest club in Germany and have a huge following in BMW’s home market. The marketing potential there is enormous.
On Bayern’s side of things, it’s a bit more complicated. Until recently, multiple Volkswagen board members were on Bayern Munich’s board of directors. With the advent of the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal several of these members were indicted on criminal charges — including former CEO of Volkswagen Martin Winterkorn.
Would it be better if FC Bayern weren’t associated with the Audi/Volkswagen brand after the scandal? It’s hard to say, but in the end this saga may just come down to money. Whichever company offers the better deal, Hoeness and Rummenigge are sure to take it.
One thing is certain — the winner of this Audi-BMW bidding war will be Bayern. Now if only we could spend some of that money on transfers ...