By: Fabian Cotter

AFTER A MASSIVE 46 YEARS, the longstanding sports sponsorship agreement between Mercedes-Benz and the German national men’s football team – which would include luxury coach transport that later extended to the women’s teams - has ended, the company confirms.

Sponsorship ends - no more luxury Mercedes-Benz coaches for the German men's or women's football teams. Unless things change. Or they hire them, maybe.

For the first time, the German Football Association put the automotive partnership out to tender in 2018, and Mercedes-Benz participated in the process. However, differing views regarding activities and financial framework terms have led to Mercedes-Benz and the German Football Association going their separate ways in sports sponsoring as of 2019, Daimler states.

On 31 December, 2018, the partnership ceases, with the last appearance between MB and the German Football Association (DFB) today at a Germany vs Netherlands international match, held at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, said:  "During our decades-long partnership, German football has achieved extraordinary things. It was fantastic to be part of it with Mercedes-Benz! And this finale now gives us an opportunity to explore new avenues. But one thing won't change: we remain passionate fans of the national team." 

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To mark the last joint international, Mercedes-Benz is bidding farewell with an advertisement titled The Journey, recounting the many memories of the last 46 years via an emotional journey through Germany's football landscape, it says. 

Creative agency antoni produced the 60-second ad, which will be broadcast on German TV ahead of the international soccer match against the Netherlands.



According to Daimler, the joint "success story" started in 1972. For the first time Germany won the European Championship, and the German Football Association and Mercedes-Benz started working together on the basis of a partnership. The collaboration was significantly extended as part of the 1990 World Cup, and Mercedes-Benz has been a general sponsor of the German Football Association ever since, it says.

During its sponsorship agreement with Mercedes-Benz, the national men's team won the FIFA World Cup three times (1974, 1990, 2014) and the women's team won it twice (2003 and 2007). The German Football Association's men also won the European Championship title three times (1972, 1980 and 1996), and the women were victorious no less than eight times (1989, 1991, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2013).

Since 1990 MB and the German football teams have made joint appearances at a total of eight World Championships, seven European Championships, 395 men's internationals and 415 women's internationals.



As part of this cooperation, Mercedes-Benz provided special support for the German Football Association's men's and women's national teams, it says.

The teams and their ‘coaches’ had Mercedes-Benz Travego and Tourismo buses at their disposal for travel to international games and training sessions. There was also a driver service for travel to internationals. Football shirts and leisure clothing of the national players and their coaching staff bore MB’s logo and lettering.

Mercedes-Benz supported the German Football Association with large-scale campaigns at World and European Championships.

The company also helped up-and-coming players by supporting the U 19 and U 21 teams.

Mercedes-Benz has also been committed to sports projects with a community and social impact, such as the Integration Prize, which Mercedes-Benz and the German Football Association initiated in 2007. The award honours sports projects which foster the integration of young people from a migrant background through football.



Mercedes-Benz will now concentrate on its commitment to other disciplines in top-level international sport, the company states.

The focus is on promoting motorsport, golf, equestrian sport, triathlon and mountain biking, it explains.

In addition to this, Mercedes-Benz is the global sponsor of the Laver Cup, a top event in international tennis - named in honour of Australia’s own sporting icon - and is the title sponsor of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart.

Furthermore the company presents the Mercedes-Benz Junior Cup, one of the world’s most important youth football tournaments. The brand is also committed to new types of trend sports of a digital nature like eSports; it supports German Sports Aid and promotes the charitable Laureus Foundation, it says.

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