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DFL to launch Bundesliga International sales and marketing unit

The German Football League (DFL), organising body of the top two divisions of the domestic game, has revealed plans to replace its existing DFL Sports Enterprises entity with a new body entitled Bundesliga International.

DFL Sports Enterprises is the league’s commercial rights distributor, but the DFL has now said that to establish an even greater closeness to overseas markets, its international sales and marketing activities will be brought together into a single unit.

Bundesliga International will subsume DFL Sports Enterprises, establish additional organisational units overseas and seek to strengthen the global marketing of the Bundesliga built around the tag of ‘Football as it’s meant to be’.

The plans were revealed by DFL chief executive Christian Seifert at the Leaders Sport Business Summit in New York yesterday (Tuesday). Seifert also disclosed that the DFL is set to launch a Legends Network in the near future, featuring stars such as Lothar Matthäus, Jens Lehmann, Paulo Sérgio and Pavel Pardo as brand ambassadors.

DFL Digital Sports will also intensify its content-marketing activities on a target-market-specific basis, coordinating this with Bundesliga International.

The latest developments come after it was announced in October that Sportcast, the production arm of the DFL, had entered into a joint venture with sports media and technology company Deltatre to form a new company, Sportec Solutions.

The company will be based in Cologne, Germany and will be responsible for all official match data gathering, storage and distribution for top-tier Bundesliga and second-tier 2. Bundesliga matches.

Innovative research and development in the football data field will also form an important part of the joint venture. Sportec Solutions will start operating live from the 2017-18 season onwards.

The move by the DFL to switch to an in-house model of official match data gathering is designed to create a long-term legacy that will give the league full control over this asset. It is hoped the new venture will offer a better service for DFL rights-holders, as well as greater value going forward.