Sponsorship & Marketing

Stadium sponsor extends for Darmstadt 98’s Bundesliga return

Featured image credit: Joaquim Ferreira/Merck

Pharmaceuticals company Merck has extended its stadium naming rights deal with SV Darmstadt 98, as the German club prepares to return to the Bundesliga for the 2023-24 season.

Under the new contract, the 17,800-capacity venue will continue to be known as the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor until at least 2028. Merck’s role as a premium partner of the club, along with naming rights to its junior academy and football boarding school, have also been extended until 2028.

Darmstadt 98 has played at the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor since 2014, with Merck having last extended its naming rights deal in May 2018.

In the 2016-17 season, Merck was recognised across Germany after giving up its naming rights to grant visibility to the ‘You Must Fight’ initiative of a charity dedicated to helping children suffering from cancer. The stadium was then known as Jonathan-Heimes-Stadion am Böllenfalltor.

SV Darmstadt 98 president, Rüdiger Fritsch, said: “It is by no means a matter of course that Merck is so clearly committed to the ‘Lilien’, but the result of a very long-standing collaboration based on great trust. 

“Merck’s identification with the city and region as well as with SV 98 is great, and we really appreciate that. It is also not a matter of course that the suffix ‘am Böllenfalltor’ remains in the stadium name. 

“We are all the more pleased that a Darmstadt-based company is positioning itself so strongly on the stadium issue and also on youth development.”

Kai Beckmann, member of the Merck Executive Board, added: “For us, the extension of the naming rights is a commitment. This also shows our responsibility and solidarity with Darmstadt, with the club, with the fans and with the entire region.”

Following relegation to the 2. Bundesliga in 2016-17, Darmstadt 98 was promoted back to the top division last season. In March, the club teamed up with energy company ENTEGA to install a photovoltaic system on the roof of Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor.