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Sponsorship & Marketing

Mercedes-Benz Arena set for rebrand as Stuttgart lands Porsche backing

Featured image credit: Mercedes-Benz Arena

VfB Stuttgart has agreed a wide-ranging sponsorship deal with Porsche Group involving its Mercedes-Benz Arena, a pact that could also see the automotive manufacturer acquire a stake in the German Bundesliga football club.

VfB has said the investment could be worth more than €100m (£86.2m/$109.5m) – funds that will aid a club that has encountered financial difficulties following COVID-19. Part of the Volkswagen group, Porsche is headquartered in Stuttgart and has reached an agreement in principle with VfB.

Part of this deal would see Mercedes-Benz waive its naming rights to the Mercedes-Benz Arena, with MHP taking the sponsorship under an initial 10-year contract. Porsche holds a majority stake in the management and IT consultancy firm, with the 60,441-capacity stadium set to be rebranded as MHPArena.

Porsche will also take up additional VfB sponsorship packages, while it is in talks to join Mercedes-Benz and sports apparel manufacturer Jako, the club’s kit manufacturer, as a stakeholder in VfB Stuttgart AG.

VfB in 2017 decided to sell off a maximum of 24.9% of VfB AG shares, with Mercedes-Benz committing to an initial 11.75% stake, followed by Jako acquiring a 1.16% interest in March 2022. In what VfB described as a “unique cooperation”, Mercedes-Benz will remain the anchor investor, exclusive partner and mobility partner of the club.

In the future, Mercedes-Benz Bank will become the business partner of VfB and will focus its activities on hospitality services for business customers and employees. At the same time, the involvement of Mercedes-Benz Bank as main and shirt sponsor and Mercedes-EQ as sleeve partner will end, with VfB being able to market these rights effective from the upcoming 2023-24 season.

Speaking yesterday (Tuesday), Claus Vogt, president and chairman of the supervisory board of VfB Stuttgart, said: “Today is a great day for our VfB. The planned cooperation with Porsche, MHP and Mercedes-Benz promises to strengthen both the AG and the eV in the long term. 

“The alliance of VfB with these strong brands sends a clear message from Württemberg to the world of football. This is where the Champions League of investors comes together under one roof. The commitment of these global corporations anchored here to VfB makes us proud.”

VfB CEO, Alexander Wehrle, continued: “We want to put together the largest package in the history of VfB Stuttgart, the total volume of which can reach more than €100m. Porsche and MHP are fascinating, successful companies with close ties to our region. 

“They expand our scope of action, whereby it is clear to everyone involved that the priority for VfB is economic stabilisation after the existentially threatening Corona period, and investments in strategic fields of action.”

Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman of the board of management and board member for finance and IT at Porsche, added: “VfB Stuttgart is the largest club at our company’s headquarters. We are united by a great tradition and we are both deeply rooted in the region. 

“Together with MHP we want to do our part to shape the future of VfB as successfully as possible. With the comprehensive sponsorship partnership between the Porsche Group and VfB we would like to make a long-term commitment. 

“It is important to us that we do this in close cooperation with our colleagues from Mercedes. That means we don’t come here to replace someone. Rather, it is our intention to join forces – from the region and for the region.”