German gaming and gambling giant Gauselmann Group has just signed a new, exclusive partnership deal with 2.Bundesliga club Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Gauselmann, like Fortuna, is based on the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen. The gambling giant will use its Merkur sports betting brand for the partnership, which states that the club is not allowed to sign similar agreements with other gambling businesses.
The deal is founded on a partnership with the MErkur Spiel-Arena, for which Fortuna is the main tenant. Gauselmann was able to secure naming rights to the stadium, which also hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, back in 2018.
“The fact that we, as the main tenant of the Merkur Spiel-Arena, have now been able to conclude a comprehensive partnership with its namesake is an important step for Fortuna that has only now become possible,” Christian Koke, Fortuna Düsseldorf marketing director, said.
“We are pleased to be able to exclusively welcome a company based in Nordrhein-Westalen as a partner in this sector, because the gambling and gaming market, which also includes sports betting, provides economic benefits for football, but is also a sensitive field,” Koke explained.
“We would like to thank those responsible at the Gauselmann Group for the fair discussions and the willingness to enter into such a long-term and comprehensive partnership with us in a difficult time like this,” he added.
Fortuna will compete in the 2.Bundesliga, Germany’s second highest division, in the 2020-21 season. This is after it was downgraded from the top-tier Bundesliga in 2019-20.
Manfred Stoffers, Gauselmann Group marketing director, said that they were excited to have struck a partnership with the club.
“After all, Fortuna is one of the leading lights of sport in Düsseldorf,” he said.
“[Through] our sponsorship, we can make a small contribution to ensuring that Fortuna gets back on the up as soon as possible,” he added.
The agreement comes during a period of flux for Germany’s gambling industry, with state Minister-Presidents agreeing on a transition period this week, whereby operators can offer poker, online casino, and sports betting.