Hyderabad partnership shows Dortmund’s interest in India market: BVB’s managing director

Hyderabad FC unveiled their latest partnership with German giants Borussia Dortmund during a live digital launch organized by the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) outfit. During the official media interaction, members from both clubs spoke about the importance of this partnership in relation to fan engagement as well as the focus on grassroots programmes. 

“The idea of this partnership is be to more connected with the people. Hence, the grassroots initiatives are very important. The DNA of Hyderabad and the commitment to develop young players convinced us that they could be a perfect partner for Borussia Dortmund. Without a partnership like this, no one would know that Borussia has a serious interest in the market,” Mr. Carsten Cramer, Managing Director of Borussia Dortmund, said.

He was joined by the Managing Director of BVB Asia Pacific, Mr. Suresh Letchmanan, who spoke about the important facets of the partnership with Hyderabad FC. “This relationship is very important to cultivate two key aspects – develop youth philosophy in the youth programmes with Hyderabad FC, and to bridge the relationships for potential fan engagement.”

“We have dedicated coaches to assess talents (from Hyderabad) and give them a chance to also train in Dortmund and see how capable they are against the European players,” Mr. Suresh explained.

Using this partnership, Mr. Suresh hopes to ‘plant Borussia Dortmund’s flag’ in the country. “We want to plant our flag in India and Hyderabad is the key for us. Having this relationship also bridges different cultures as well. And we want to see this grow organically. I am sure, I am very confident that this (partnership) will work,” he said.

Dortmund has a massive fan following, not only in Germany but across the world. The club has worked hard to build their strong fanbase via many activities, engagements and dedicated personnel who work to this end to keep the spirit of the game alive among the BVB fans.

Elucidating on the point of fan engagement, Mr. Suresh said, “At the end of the day, the fan culture and the fan engagement is key to us. We have a dedicated person who runs all our fan activities. He will bring the two fan clubs together. It’s difficult to export the ‘Yellow Wall’ culture into India straight away. This will take place in an organic manner. It’s a work in progress but I am sure we will reach there at some stage.”

Mr. Varun Tripuraneni, co-owner of Hyderabad FC, spoke highly of Dortmund’s fan culture as well, saying, “When you talk about Dortmund, it is synonymous with the yellow wall. But more than just the fans at the stadium, the involvement of the fans in the community is the most important aspect. Without that you cannot have people sitting in the stadiums to support us.”

“We will have people from Dortmund interact with our internal team in Hyderabad. We will try to have from interaction from the fans as well. There are avenues for us to learn from BVB. We have a lot to learn about the fan club culture in Germany. But we have a long way to go,” he added.

Mr. Varun also revealed Hyderabad’s plans of setting up a residential academy in the city. “We are looking to set up a residential academy in Hyderabad. There are other aspects to consider when you talk about residential academies such as schooling, the accommodation, food, etc. I hope that by the end of the next Hero ISL season we will have an announcement on a good residential academy,” he added.

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