Soccer Sponsorship

Hamburg Fans Bristle at Under Armour

St Pauli Jeremy Dudziak Imago
St Pauli's Jeremy Dudziak celebrates a goal against FC Union Berlin on Saturday.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    It has been almost three months since the U.S. brand Under Armour committed to being the new sponsor for FC St. Pauli. But a newspaper article about the sporting goods label’s ties in the U.S. is outraging club fans.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Under Armour announced its multi-year official technical sponsorship of FC St. Pauli in July 2015.
    • St. Pauli is known for being a multi-cultural team with a strong social conscience.
    • Fans are angry that Under Armour, according to U.S. media, has closed a deal for over $4.2 million with the U.S. military.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Under Armour? Never heard of it! That is how most Germans react when they are asked about the global sports-clothes brand from the East Coast of the United States.

In Germany, the label was mostly known only among serious endurance athletes – until this week, when a front-page story in the Hamburger Morgenpost asked whether the company is a suitable sponsor for second-league soccer team FC St. Pauli.

The article said that Under Armour is cultivating a martial image in its home market, providing apparel for hunters, police officers and the military, and is close to the weapons lobby. The club from the Red Light district in Hamburg, on the other hand, campaigns for peaceful coexistence, for multiculturalism and tolerance. Now the discussion, which has been rumbling for a while among St. Pauli fans online has ignited again. Many are harshly critical of the sponsorship deal.

A typical comment on Facebook goes: “I am appalled by your new sponsor.” Or: “I am incredibly disappointed in this decision and actually expect that you drop this deal.”

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