Over the past 8 years, Audi has expanded their relationship with high-profile soccer clubs and leagues. Major League Soccer (MLS), FC Barcelona, Chelsea Football Club and other enterprises are currently benefiting from the German auto manufacturers.
Audi has been the official automotive sponsor for FC Barcelona since 2006. On November 27, 2014, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique test drove Audi’s A3 Sportback e-tron, the German manufacturer’s first plug-in hybrid sport utility vehicle. “We feel identified with a company that is a leader in its sector”, said FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu. “It is a satisfaction and an honor for us to share in the passion of getting better every day, to evolve and grow, using new technologies, innovation and sportsmanship. We very much like Audi’s focus on sustainable mobility in our cities using e-tron, Audi’s hybrid plug-in technology.”
On March 6, 2015, Audi and Major League Soccer announced a landmark, multi-year partnership agreement. According to Audi’s press release, this relationship began at the start of the 2015 MLS season with Audi becoming the presenting sponsor of the MLS Cup Playoffs and the Official Automotive Partner of MLS.
“Audi’s partnership with MLS parallels the aggressive, challenger spirit of the two brands,” said Loren Angelo, Director of Marketing, Audi of America. “Audi remains committed to soccer and raising the profile of the game in the United States. Last year the league’s attendance hit an all-time high. As a major supporter of the sport globally, we’re looking forward to cultivating the enthusiasm of soccer stateside and driving participation of the sport in a new way.”
Throughout the season, Audi has aired MLS-themed commercials during nationally televised games on ESPN, Fox and Univision. “We are excited to welcome Audi to the MLS family,” said Gary Stevenson, President and Managing Director, MLS Business Ventures. “Audi is an elite brand that is committed to helping the sport of soccer grow in North America and we look forward to partnering with them for many years to come.”
In May 2012, Audi and Chelsea Football Club entered an agreement which the Blues made the German automaker their official global car.
“We have signed a three-year deal with the German car maker, which will see Audi branding featuring on the Stamford Bridge LED boards at home matches, with racing-style Audi seats to be incorporated into the dugouts,” according to a press release by Chelsea Football Club.
“Audi joins an impressive list of global sponsors of Chelsea, headed by premium partners adidas and Samsung, and most recently complemented by the Sauber F1 team, with whom we partnered at the beginning of the month.”
Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said: “It is exciting for Chelsea Football Club to sign this deal with a premium company, renowned for its excellent track record in elite performance and manufacturing. Audi is a phenomenal global partner for us as one of the world’s most successful car brands, and we look forward to working closely with them.”