Integration of partners, shareholders and sponsors

The sporting performance of the club also depends indirectly on its economic performance as a company. Against this background, the relationship with the respective sponsors and donors is of particular importance. Who benefits from the clubs and in what form? Are they used in a meaningful and effective way?

Let us first take a look at the distribution of rankings that deal with the subject matter of these important partners:

Open example in the Lab

The green lines show the rankings in the context “allianz”, orange “adidas”, yellow “telekom” and light blue “audi”. It can already be guessed at this point that each of the partners is perceived differently. Let’s take a brief look at the number of mentions:

Even though “adidas” dominates the field in the proverbial sense, the graphic shows how many top rankings there are in the context of “allianz” and “arena”. Since the arena is often the focus of the search for answers to logistical questions in the games played, it seems logical that the locations receive high rankings in questions such as parking possibilities. The insurer Allianz undoubtedly benefits from this circumstance.

Audi has a total of 53 Top-10-rankings, which are generated exclusively by the FC Bayern Audi Cup. This is not a bad performance either. And with over 1000 mentions on the first 10 search result pages in the context of the Telekom Cup – and as a technology partner – Telekom is also emotionally charged.  Almost 2000 top 100 rankings were achieved in the process.

Joint interests of FC Bayern and Adidas

The products of Adidas are offered in the shop. Especially the jerseys enjoy a special attention through the advertising of the celebrity players, which can also be seen in the good rankings on Google:

FC Bayern has a total of more than 700 rankings in the top 10, whose search phrases include “trikot” or “shirt”:

Open example in the Lab

The other clubs are much less successful here:

With this integration, FC Bayern has achieved an almost optimal integration mix of its partners. None of the partners cannibalizes another and is functionally perfectly integrated into the overall system “FC Bayern” and its attention with regard to its strengths.

How do the Red Bulls do it?

As we already described in the first paragraph, the Red Bulls from Leipzig are not as successful as the FC Bayern. We would therefore like to take a look at how they integrate their partners.

First of all, it should be mentioned that Red Bull is already a sponsor as the owner. From this perspective, other strategic corporate decisions are made than is the case with FC Bayern. Thus the shop, which offers the jerseys of its players, is not located under the club domain, but in the Redbullshop. This in turn leads to the fact that our examined domain can generate only few good rankings for jerseys and shirts. Therefore, for their partner Nike the situation isn’t as good:

Open example in the Lab

The Nike brand is therefore being moved away from the club and closer to the Red Bull umbrella brand, which can lead to an emotional distance from the club. In addition, deficits can be identified in the perception of the Call to Action:


If the willing fan is interested in buying a jersey, he will not find the purchase option as quickly as with FC Bayern:


But not only the integration of Nike does not seem quite optimal. Sponsor Volkswagen is also perceived only moderately and associated with Red Bull as a sponsor. There are only a few rankings on Google whose search phrase contains “vw” (blue) or “volkswagen” (yellow):

Open example in the Lab

Due to the lack of brand integration with the contents of the club, the sponsor brand appears only very weakly associated with the Red Bulls, which leads to moderate rankings. At this point, however, the question also arises as to whether the image of Red Bull and that of Volkswagen appear compatible.

The partner Mediamarkt, on the other hand, could be integrated thematically more easily into the Red Bulls, since a connection between football and the reception of a match seems more obvious. However, Mediamarkt also acts as a partner for other clubs, which somewhat undermines a strong effect as an RB advertising partner.

Open example in the Lab

Evaluation of partner integration

The different DNAs of the clubs can already be seen very clearly: while FC Bayern already refers to an entire federal state (and thus its inhabitants as its target group) in its name, the Red Bulls present themselves as what they are: a club that is strongly influenced by its owner and therefore places a strong focus on the brand. With a product as emotional as German football, from a psychological point of view this can be an obstacle to the club’s success.