Club Battles

In Hamburg, Sports Fans View Sponsors’ Growing Power with Suspicion

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The high-profile wrangling between sponsors and managers at Hamburg’s sports clubs reflects the complexities of securing financing for sports clubs and managing them.

  • Facts


    • Executives and sponsors are jostling for power at two soccer clubs and a handball club in Hamburg.
    • The complicated negotiations are part of the larger question of securing financing for sports.
    • Fans resent sponsors’ growing power and the conflicts reflect questions about how clubs are run, who finances them and who manages them.
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Money and power are always big parts of running sports clubs and both are stealing the headlines this summer at three of Hamburg’s top clubs just weeks before their seasons begin.

Not even one week into his new job, Dietmar Beiersdorfer, president of HSV, the soccer team that just barely retained its position in Germany’s Bundesliga, has locked horns with a key sponsor over who has the final say.

Money talks, and since HSV has little of its own and depends on support from sponsors, the club will have to find a way for management and its sponsors to work together.

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