Shanghai (AFP) – Borussia Dortmund have signed an “exclusive partnership” with Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng as the Bundesliga club attempt to expand their footprint in the Asian country.
Dortmund are making a big push to attract new fans in the world’s most populous nation and on Wednesday sealed the cooperation agreement with Shandong, who are led by veteran German coach Felix Magath, a former Bayern Munich manager.
It will see Dortmund offer expertise in a number of ways, notably on youth development — the German club is renowned for bringing through rising football stars.
Dortmund have played pre-season friendlies in China during the past two summers and head of sales and marketing, Carsten Cramer, said: “We are not only a club playing a friendly asking for some money, then rushing out of the country.”
“Without a partnership with a club I am very sure that we can’t reach the credibility in the population of China,” Cramer said, according to the state Xinhua news agency, which said the tie-up was for the next five years.
Dortmund, who won the German Cup last season, recently also opened an office in Shanghai.
Shandong Luneng, based in the city of Jinan in eastern China, are riding high in the CSL in fourth place under Magath.