German football club FC Köln has been handed a boost following its relegation from the top-tier Bundesliga after extending a stadium naming rights deal with energy company RheinEnergie.
The renewed agreement will run for a period of at least six seasons, through to the end of the 2023-24 campaign.
FC Köln’s ground, originally known as the Müngersdorfer Stadion, will continue to be known as the RheinEnergieStadion under the terms of the deal.
RheinEnergie will also retain its role as an official partner of the team, which will finish bottom of the Bundesliga this season, despite one game remaining.
In addition, the firm will continue to support the club’s official training ground, the FC Köln youth teams and the ‘Kids-Club’ initiative.
Dieter Stenkamp, a board member at RheinEnergie, said: “I think it is important, particularly at a time like this, to send a signal. We believe in FC. We are not just there for the success on the international stage, but we will cheer you on in the second league as well.
“Our partnership with FC should be a lively one full of energy. Electro-mobility plays an important role and we want to develop this with FC together.”
FC Köln’s relegation from the Bundesliga comes as something of a surprise this season.
The team finished fifth during the 2015-16 campaign, qualifying for the Uefa Europe League European competition in the process, but poor form this season saw the FC Köln plummet down the Bundesliga to the relegation zone.
Image: CEphoto Uwe Aranas