The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand


"Soccer and Volkswagen Go Together Like No Other Sport"

Partnership with the DFB starts in January: inside interview with Sales Director Jürgen Stackmann.

January marks the dawning of a new era for the German Football Association (DFB): the largest national sporting association in the world will be teaming up with a new mobility partner – Volkswagen. “We want to support soccer at every level – from the national team right down to the grassroots,” explains Sales Director Jürgen Stackmann in an interview with inside.

Mr. Stackmann, why has the 
Volkswagen brand decided to 
become the automotive partner of the German Football Association?
Soccer and Volkswagen go together like no other sport. In fact, we have been actively involved in the world of soccer since VfL Wolfsburg was formed back in 1945, so this is actually a tradition spanning over 70 years. There’s also the fact that an unbelievable number of people rely on their Volkswagen to take part in soccer-related activities every week, whether that’s parents taking their children to soccer practice, teams carpooling to away games, or fans travelling to stadiums across the country. With all of this in mind, it really was the logical next step for us to seek out a partnership with the DFB.
With Volkswagen as the largest automobile brand in Germany and the DFB as the largest sporting association, there’s lots we want to achieve between us. After all, there are plenty of exciting developments in the pipeline here at Volkswagen as we seek to exploit e-mobility to its full potential and write a whole new story for our company with the ID. family. Last but not least, we are hoping that the new Golf and other volume models will get off to a super start. Since all of this and more can be communicated through soccer, the partnership with the DFB must – and will – be economically worthwhile.

"We want to support soccer at every level – from the national team right down to the grassroots"

What do employees think of this partnership?
First things first, we have no doubt that our partnership with the DFB – and also with UEFA – will help boost sales. And the more vehicles we are producing at our sites, the better it is for everyone.

This is a venture we have been keen to involve our employees in right from the outset – particularly those in our German plants as supporters of the German national team. We want them to feel like this is their partnership, too.

What exactly do you mean by that?
“The field is yours” is a concept we introduced a few months back when we first suggested the concept of DFB sponsorship at a company meeting – and it wasn’t just empty words. Without the emotional support of our colleagues, the partnership simply wouldn’t work. This is why we have a number of ideas up our sleeves to ensure our Volkswagen team feels involved in the process – including for the upcoming international game in Wolfsburg.

Jürgen Stackmann

The 57-year-old has been Head of Sales and Marketing for the Volkswagen brand for the past three years. Prior to this, he held the same position at Skoda and was CEO of Seat.

What are you most excited about 
when you think about the impending cooperation with the DFB?
First of all, I am really looking forward to everything finally kicking off in the new year. Our ad will be broadcast on TV for the first time in the spring, and the first international games will give us the opportunity to show everyone that the German national team is now officially driven by Volkswagen.
But there is another aspect to consider, too. Both Volkswagen and the DFB have a difficult past behind them. Both partners are major institutions in Germany and both now have the chance to forge a positive future. This is something we can help each other out with, too, which is why I am pleased that we can create a fresh start together from a sporting perspective after the disappointment of the World Cup. There are going to be plenty of exciting new opportunities for us to enjoy.

So will you only be focusing on the national A team?
Oh certainly not. Focusing only on the national team just wouldn’t be part of our philosophy here at Volkswagen. We will be starting with our understanding of soccer from the grassroots up. This is clearly demonstrated by the various partnerships we have in place at our facilities up and down the country, for up-and-coming young soccer players and soccer culture in general, not to mention the wide-ranging commitment of our local dealers. This is something we are keen to build on further. By getting involved in soccer, for us at Volkswagen this also means taking on social responsibility.