Eight-time German football champions Borussia Dortmund and eight-time German basketball champions ALBA BERLIN presented details of a cooperation between the clubs on Wednesday in Berlin. The future will see BVB and ALBA share know-how in the fields of merchandising, marketing and communication, as well as in the sporting domain, where the small leather ball and its slightly bigger basketball counterpart are now set to enjoy a very close relationship.
"We've got to know and appreciate each other during our numerous visits to Berlin in previous years. BVB players and employees have already seen ALBA matches live and ALBA representatives have already made trips to Dortmund too. We both have a real appreciation for each other and we are hoping to establish even closer, long-term and above all emotional ties to Berlin and Brandenburg, where there are currently a great many BVB fans," emphasised Hans-Joachim Watzke, Borussia Dortmund's Chief Executive Officer.
From now onwards the two clubs, which both have the highest average attendance in their respective sports in Europe (ALBA draw in home crowds of more than 10,000 people to the Mercedes-Benz Arena, while an average of over 80,000 fans once again attended Borussia Dortmund's home games during the 2014/2015 Bundesliga season), will have regular exchanges and provide each other with mutual support in areas such as fitness/athletics, youth development, merchandising, ticketing, marketing, communication and internationalisation. In addition, the idea of having a joint fan shop has also been mooted.
Dr Axel Schweitzer, a member of the Supervisory Board of ALBA BERLIN, spoke about the cooperation at a press briefing held at ALBA headquarters on Wednesday: "BVB and ALBA are strong, unique brands which have come to stand for the same sporting and moral values: honesty in sport, passion, a love for the game and fair play. We are looking forward to the partnership and would like to experience it by carrying out a number of joint activities."
Over the course of the coming season, the first-team players at both clubs will step up their contact. "When we informed our coach Thomas Tuchel of the cooperation with ALBA, he immediately expressed his desire to organise a joint training session," stated Carsten Cramer, BVB's Director of Sales and Marketing. It's something we will definitely take into consideration, especially given the fact that we have our own basketball court in our sports hall in Dortmund and that many BVB players have been avid basketball fans for years."