In an exclusive interview with DW, DFB president Reinhard Grindel explains why the new Adidas deal for the German national team is a good one, and his talks about his impressions of Euro 2016 so far.
DW: Herr Grindel, how difficult were negotiations with Adidas?
We wanted to ensure that we achieved the market value that the DFB and national team have. There were also others interested in partnering with the DFB, which is why the negotiations took several months. This may be unusual when compared with previous decades, but these days this way of negotiating with sporting good manufacturers is quite normal.
What is the significance of Adidas as a German brand and their association with the national team since 1954?
The tradition is a significant aspect, but not a decisive one. The price of a deal such as this is obviously very important, but equally crucial is how innovative the brand is and how we can develop German football together. If you consider our Academy in Frankfurt or our amateur football portal, fussball.com, we want to be associated with a brand that continues our development at the grassroots as well as at the very highest level. This is why Adidas is the best choice for us.
How satisfied are you with the conclusion of the deal?
I am very satisfied because we have more than doubled our sponsorship funds with Adidas. This is because of the DFB’s status in the German market and of course our status as world champions. The deal is a fair one for all parties and represents the national team’s market value.
It’s raining today in Paris and that seems to sum up the mood at this European Championship. There doesn’t seem to be the same great atmosphere as usual. What are your impressions of the tournament so far?
I am pleased that the stadiums are full and there are many volunteers from all over Europe here. The audience figures in Germany are as high as ever in the group stage. On the other hand, there is a feeling that France is a torn country with strikes and many domestic problems that go beyond football. Of course, you can also feel the impact of the events of November 13. The weather perhaps characterizes the atmosphere, which is not quite as carefree as Germany 2006.
Euro 2016 is your first trip as DFB president. What are your personal impressions of the role so far?
I feel the responsibility to represent German football appropriately and to continue our development. I am in constant dialogue with the coaching staff and the manager of the national team and I believe things have gone well in the first few weeks.
Interview by Peter Wozny.
Reinhard Grindel was appointed DFB president on April 15, 2016, replacing the retired Wolfgang Niersbach. Grindel is a lawyer, has worked as a journalist and was a Bundestag MP for the CDU.