By Mark Baber
May 10 – Schalke 04 and Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom have agreed to an extension of their shirt sponsorship deal, which had been due to expire in 2017, until 30 June 2022 in a deal reported to be worth at least €120 million.
Schalke supervisory board boss Clemens Tönnies welcomed the new deal saying: “I am extremely pleased with the extension of our partnership until 2022. For years we have worked together closely and that will be extended further with the new contract.”
The value of the deal could reportedly reach €150 million, depending on the success of the club, which currently sits in seventh place in the Bundesliga, with hopes of Champions League football next season hanging by a very thin thread.
Gazprom have been shirt sponsors of Schalke since 2007 and Schalke’s head of marketing Alexander Jobst said: “This long-term contract Gazprom contributes greatly to the economic stability of the FC Schalke 04.”
Gazprom boasts both UEFA and FIFA as official partners and has maintained stable partnerships with Zenit St Petersburg, Chelsea and newly crowned Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade as well as supporting youth football through the Football for Friendship programme.
Whilst political tensions have effected some areas of trade and cooperation, Gazprom, which is a major supplier of energy to many European countries, has been relatively unaffected and been building a reputation as a reliable and leading European partner – in energy supply as in football sponsorship.
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