When FC Schalke separated from main sponsor Gazprom as a result of the Russian war of aggression, a replacement was needed quickly. With the real estate group Vivawest on their chests, the Royal Blues are promoted to the Bundesliga. And that's exactly why we have to look for a new partner now.
The chairwoman of the supervisory board of the real estate group Vivawest has expressed her opposition to a continuation of Vivawest's commitment as the main sponsor of the Bundesliga promoted FC Schalke 04. "Personally, I can't imagine that Vivawest can stay in the Bundesliga with this commitment because it would actually exceed our financial willingness," said Bärbel Bergerhoff-Wodopia in Essen. The manager is head of HR at the RAG Foundation. With a 40 percent stake, the foundation is Vivawest's largest shareholder. The company is headquartered in Gelsenkirchen. It manages almost 120,000 apartments in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Vivawest stepped in as the main sponsor at the beginning of March after Schalke had ended its cooperation with the Russian gas company Gazprom because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Nothing was known at the time about the duration of the collaboration and financial details. According to media reports about the entry, Vivawest had offered around 4.5 million annually, about half of the Gazprom deal. Vivawest managing director Uwe Eichner had spoken of a "temporary partnership".
The financing or a sponsorship contract with a Bundesliga team cannot be compared "in terms of effort" with a second division team, said Bergerhoff-Wodopia. "Therefore, other companies are certainly also interested in supporting Schalke 04 as sponsors."
The Schalke 04 board is currently negotiating massively, including with other partners. "And I'm quite sure that there will also be positive results." There will certainly also be talks with Vivawest. "But, as I said, I can't imagine that Vivawest can actually be the main sponsor or a sponsor on the scale of the Bundesliga." The "Ruhr24" portal had also reported that there was a clause in the contract that allowed Schalke to change the main sponsor in the event of a significantly better offer.
The CEO of FC Schalke 04, Bernd Schröder, emphasized that they were very happy "to have Vivawest on our side". Both sides agreed to strive for a long-term partnership, Schröder said on request. "We are in talks with Vivawest about the level at which this cooperation will take place in the coming years." At the same time, Schalke is talking to potential new partners. "And yes, it's also about a possible change in the position of main sponsor. Nothing has been decided so far."