From Relegation Battle to Head of the Standings: The Moving Partnership of FC Ingolstadt and BFFT
For five years, automotive engineering developer BFFT has stood by FC Ingolstadt. The standings of Schanzer in the 2nd Bundesliga provides an opportunity to look back on the specifics of this sponsorship.
Since 2010, BFFT has been right on the ball with FC Ingolstadt (FCI). The special thing: Unlike most football sponsorships, BFFT’s focuses are employee identification and loyalty. “The majority of our workforce is under 35 years old and male – professional football is consequently a fitting theme for us,” explains BFFT Marketing Director Dr. Michael Schilhaneck.
As a consequence, the partnership initially existing on a business package for customer relationship management is extended to include concrete measures for employees. In the 2010/2011 season, BFFT sends numerous employees to the stadium to support the FCI in the course of the “catch-up” campaign in the relegation battle.
In the 2011/2012 season, BFFT also invites staff members to Schanzer home games, as well as stunning away games such as the DFB-Pokal match against FC Bayern Munich. Particularly unique is the kids’ escort: It allows the children of employees to enter the Audi Sportpark at the hands of professionals. The engagement is rounded off by raffles for merchandising items and a BFFT team at the FCI sponsors’ tournament.
In the 2011/2012 season, the FCI lands at the bottom of the rankings. For the prestigious derby against TSV 1860 Munich, BFFT starts, of its own initiative, the “Side by Side” confessor campaign and, as its first sponsor, publicly stands behind the club. Key visuals of the campaign are the branded Audi A1 of both partners standing “Side by Side” on the lawn of the Audi Sportpark. BFFT fan photos in the stadium magazine as well as the Audis placed in front of the stadium provide further support.
In 2012, Ingolstadt experiences a first: The “BFFT Fansofa,” on the sidelines between bench and fan block, enables an up close and personal experience of Bundesliga football. BFFT raffles off exclusive spots for every home game. Schilhaneck refers to BFFT’s brand pledge “We move people”: “Our automotive developments move people physically, the fan sofa moves people emotionally – nobody else comes that close!”
At the beginning of the 2013/2014 season, BFFT obtains advertising media partners with Radio IN and Radio Galaxy, which give away spots on the “BFFT Fansofa.” In the current season, a nearly 10-meter-long BFFT advertising banner hangs together with the BFFT Fansofa to create the “blue BFFT fan corner.”
Schilhaneck’s conclusion after five years of collaboration: “Step by step, we’ve prepared an emotional sponsoring concept tailor-made for our goals. We would like to thank FC Ingolstadt for the open collaboration. Looking at the current standings, we look forward to an exciting future together!”
This press release can be downloaded here.