On Wednesday, October 10, German Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart entered into a formal partnership with Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R&F.
The strategic partnership between R&F and VfB, initially set for five years, covers virtually all areas of activity and business in professional football. The partnership was officially launched with the signing of the contract in the Chinese metropolis of Guangzhou, where VfB were represented by Jochen Röttgermann, CMO; Thomas Hitzlsperger, Member of the Chairman’s Committee & Head of VfB Youth Academy; and Heiko Stroh, Director of Internationalization. The trio will be in Guangzhou until the end of this week to establish the initial steps of the new collaboration.
Know-how and networking
A key aspect of the agreement is that Guangzhou R&F can draw on VfB Stuttgart’s concepts, strategies and structures in the areas of football management, sporting organisation, sporting development as well as marketing and sponsoring. In return, VfB will have an active involvement in R&F’s external communications along with the opportunity to utilise an extensive network of clubs in China, and elsewhere in Asia, and gain a long-lasting foothold in China with the support and expertise of their counterparts at R&F.
Develop concepts and ideas together
“We’re thrilled about this partnership with Guangzhou R&F,” said Röttgermann. “This type of collaboration enables us to follow our own path in terms of the internationalization of VfB Stuttgart. We’ve constantly stressed that VfB are looking for partners on an equal footing, and that’s exactly how this partnership will be shaped. Together, both ourselves and R&F want to develop concepts and ideas from which both clubs can profit economically in China, Germany and also other countries. We are all investing our know-how into this partnership – that’s far more significant for us than immediately generating high revenues.”
Long-term benefit for Guangzhou R&F’s
“We’ve received a very warm welcome here and the signing of the partnership has enabled us to put into action exactly what we’ve been discussing intensively with the representatives from Guangzhou R&F over recent months,” said Hitzlsperger. “From now we’ll be working to ensure that R&F’s benefits from our expertise in the future. At the same time, we’ll be looking closely at what we can derive from it. After all, this partnership should not be a one-way street.”