Income from match operations
Season tickets for the following season went on sale as usual at the end of the financial year and were capped at the customary limit of 55,000. Borussia Dortmund expects to fully exploit the earnings potential of match operations in the coming financial year. As in the previous season, Borussia Dortmund does not expect there to be any restrictions to match operations and is planning on hosting 17 Bundesliga home matches and four UEFA Champions League home matches in the coming season. Therefore, it expects income from match operations to increase year on year, also due to the inflation-related adjustments to ticket prices.
Income from advertising
Qualifying for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League continues to place Borussia Dortmund in a better financial position. Playing and delivering positive performances in the competition can widen the club’s media and brand coverage, which promotes the club’s interaction with existing fans and encourages others to begin following Borussia Dortmund. The club intends to promote these effects with a progressive internationalisation strategy that is regularly tailored to current trends. In light of this, Borussia Dortmund aims to further expand and professionalise its digital presence. Borussia Dortmund thereby responds to social trends and to a large degree leverages the attractiveness of the Borussia Dortmund brand. In addition to boosting its digital presence, Borussia Dortmund is once again reaching out to fans and partners at the local level throughout the world. That is why Borussia Dortmund embarked on its 2022 ASIA TOUR from 21 November to 1 December 2022 with selected players from the youth squads as well as members of the senior squad who did not compete at the World Cup, which was being held concurrently in Qatar. The team also travelled the US in the summer of 2023 during its “Back in Black & Yellow” tour. The return to North America is key to Borussia Dortmund’s internationalisation strategy as the importance of the market is growing in the run-up to the 2026 World Cup and football is gaining in popularity. The goal of such trips is to bring the club even closer to and connect with its international fan communities and partners and give all fans from around the world the chance to immerse themselves in the world of Borussia Dortmund. The growing international awareness of the brand that this gives rise to allows the club to tap foreign markets.
Since the 2020/2021 season, Borussia Dortmund has had two different kit sponsors. Evonik Industries AG is the kit sponsor for all international club competitions, friendlies staged abroad and DFB Cup matches. 1&1 Telecommunication SE is the kit sponsor for Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga appearances. This innovative sponsorship model was developed as part of the internationalisation strategy and promises further revenue potential going forward, since it allows the club and its respective partners to target specific markets.
In the 2023/2024 season, Borussia Dortmund once again marketed its virtual advertising boards. SIGNAL IDUNA PARK’s advertising boards can be digitally overlaid in the broadcast signal to target the respective TV audiences when broadcasting matches abroad. For Borussia Dortmund’s international partners in particular, this is an attractive and increasingly popular way to reach their customers worldwide. As part of its digitalisation strategy, Borussia Dortmund has launched a digitalisation initiative at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK – from the media centre to the video walls – to make the stadium digitally fit for the future and even more accommodating to fans and sponsors alike.
Despite the recent pandemic and the ensuing economic declines, professional football in Germany has not lost any of its allure. Borussia Dortmund also maintains close and longstanding partnerships with its sponsors. Borussia Dortmund has entered into medium- and long-term contracts with its strategic partners (SIGNAL IDUNA Group until 2031, PUMA International Sports Marketing B.V. until 2028, and 1&1 Telecommunication SE and Evonik Industries AG, each until 2025), which provides long-term planning security. Borussia Dortmund also extended various other sponsorship relationships and entered into new contracts. Particularly noteworthy is that Borussia Dortmund and SPORTFIVE Germany GmbH, its marketing partner since 1999, extended their partnership early until 30 June 2031. In the 2022/2023 season, Borussia Dortmund met all of its contractual service obligations in the hospitality areas and expects to do so again in the 2023/2024 season. Borussia Dortmund assumes that its advertising income will continue to grow in financial year 2023/2024. The club has lost none of its appeal, despite the recent pandemic. As such, Borussia Dortmund will also operate in a demanding market and competitive environment in the coming season.
Income from TV marketing
Particular focus will be placed on income from TV marketing in connection with the expected general economic environment and the Company’s expected performance.
The media rights currently allocated relate to the 2021/2022 to 2024/2025 seasons. The clubs can expect income averaging EUR 1.1 billion for these four seasons, corresponding to EUR 4.4 billion in total. The distribution of the TV marketing income was resolved in December 2020. Greater stability and more solidarity are the objectives. In light of the decline in income from national media rights, the consolidation being seen on international markets and the significant decrease in revenue at the club level during the COVID-19 pandemic, the objective of the distribution system is primarily to ensure stability, while setting the course for the future and promoting solidarity at the same time. This offers Bundesliga clubs a solid planning basis.
DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH also informed the clubs of the first and second Bundesliga divisions about the specific expected distribution volume for the 2023/2024 season. Borussia Dortmund can expect income of approximately EUR 83.2 million. The announced disbursements of the TV funds will allow for a good degree of planning. Nevertheless, a 2023/2024 season without interruptions as well as timely payments by partners in line with their contracts is essential for ensuring the amount and timing of the envisaged distribution payouts. The new agreement entered into between DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH and the German Football Association (DFB), which sets out the rights and duties of the two organisations and the long-term financial terms, and thus indirectly also for the clubs in the first and second Bundesliga divisions, will apply for the first time from that season onward. The originally envisaged increase in national TV marketing income for the 2023/2024 season compared to the 2022/2023 financial year will likely be more moderate as a result.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has since waned, it is still indirectly affecting income from international TV marketing of UEFA competitions. The pandemic-related losses for clubs competing in the UEFA Champions League amounted to EUR 416.5 million in the 2019/2020 season and EUR 57.3 million in the 2020/2021 season. So as to stretch the adverse effects out over a longer period, it was decided that the EUR 416.5 million would be withheld from distributions in equal shares (of EUR 83.4 million) over five seasons from 2019/2020 to 2023/2024 and the EUR 57.3 million in equal shares (of EUR 14.3 million) over four seasons from 2020/2021 to 2023/2024. In specific terms, UEFA will make the deductions before distributing funds to the clubs. Nevertheless, the potential income from UEFA competitions remains extremely lucrative. Due to UEFA’s excellent earnings situation, the COVID-19-related deductions envisaged in relation to distributions for the 2022/2023 season were dispensed with, which positively impacted the income from international TV marketing of UEFA competitions. It remains to be seen what will come of the COVID-19-related deductions originally envisaged by UEFA for the 2023/2024 financial year.
Income from merchandising
Due to the high number of subsequent orders for the special edition kit released in the 2022/2023 season and the fact that these orders will be fulfilled in the coming financial year, Borussia Dortmund expects income from merchandising to increase. Nevertheless, income from merchandising is also always dependent on the team’s performance on the pitch and the overall state of the economy.
Conference, catering and miscellaneous income
In addition to catering income on match days, marketing the stadium unlocks further income potential. This includes organising stadium tours and hosting external events in the hospitality areas. Football training courses are also on offer. As described above, all restrictions on Borussia Dortmund’s business activities have been lifted, and as such Borussia Dortmund expects to generate corresponding income from the marketing of SIGNAL DUNA PARK, in particular from the marketing activities during the 2024 European Championships.
Net transfer income
Transfer deals are an important part of Borussia Dortmund’s business and, as in previous years, represent a significant source of income. However, in view of the developments in the economic environment, Borussia Dortmund on principle only takes transfer income into limited account in its planning. The transfer policy nevertheless presents significant opportunities to generate substantial income. Consequently, transfer deals are always assessed against the background of the current season. High transfer sums often go hand in hand with a drop in quality within the team, but it cannot be ruled out that value-driven transfers will be concluded contrary to the Company’s sporting interests. Given Borussia Dortmund’s sustained success, its players are increasingly piquing the interest of other top clubs.
The ongoing war in Ukraine and the associated global economic uncertainty continue to impact transfer deals. Based on the previous summer transfer windows during the pandemic, it can be assumed that the decline in income experienced by clubs around the world will continue to temporarily reduce the overall transfer fees received for players (with the exception of the transfer fees paid in the Middle East and the English Premier League or for veritable superstars). Despite the expected potential losses and the uncertainty as the situation continues to unfold, the European leagues remain attractive for talented young players. Besides that, Borussia Dortmund has an excellent team. An active transfer market can be expected all the same in the summer of 2023, with some very lucrative deals in the pipeline. From Borussia Dortmund’s perspective, a notable example is the transfer of the player Jude Bellingham to Real Madrid in July 2023. Therefore, Borussia Dortmund expects that its transfer deals will continue to contribute significantly to earnings in the coming financial year.