Software AG supports Lilies' attempt to join 3rd National League

(PresseBox) (Darmstadt, ) SV Darmstadt 98 e.V. announced today that it will strive to join the third national league following the financial stabilization of the last two years. They have developed a plan to help them achieve this goal over the next three years. In connection with this, Darmstadtbased Software AG has extended its sponsorship agreement with the Lilies. As a main sponsor of the team, Software AG remains the club's biggest supporter and will extend its commitment to the young talents. HEAG Südhessische Energie AG (HSE) has also extended its sponsorship agreement and will participate in the joint project, "Promotion to the Third Bundesliga."

"I am very happy that we can continue to count on the support of our main sponsors, Software AG and HSE AG," says Hans Kessler, president of SV Darmstadt 98. "By upholding and expanding its commitment, Software AG is providing the means to implement our plan to join the third Bundesliga. Through the solidarity of major companies in Darmstadt, the city, and the club, professional soccer has an improved outlook in southern Hesse."

Promotion to the third national league is the next logical step for the Lilies, Darmstadt's most famous sports and soccer club. After overcoming the recent economic turmoil, the region is again united behind the club, which is rich with tradition. The key now is to strengthen it in terms of sports and finance for the long term.

SV Darmstadt 98 and its partners are in agreement, however, that this sustainability cannot be achieved in the regional league in the aftermath of the German Soccer Association's league reform. The nationwide third league receives much more media attention, and television broadcasting revenues are thus higher. At the same time, many professional clubs' reserve teams play in the regional league, and they can generally build on a significantly better financial foundation. Therefore, SV Darmstadt 98 will gradually be guided from the regional league to the third national league with the support of its partners, to provide national representation for the city and the region.

"The squad's athleticism will be strengthened gradually over the next two seasons," said Hans Kessler, explaining the plan's key points. The team's partners will give it the stability to attract more partners and offer them a secure platform.

As the top partner, Software AG is continuing its support. The company began sponsoring the Lilies two years ago, helping the club avoid bankruptcy at the time. "The club's leadership has demonstrated convincingly its ability to stabilize SV Darmstadt 98," declared Arnd Zinnhardt, Software AG's CFO. "We are certain that joining the third national league is the right thing for the club and the region and confident that our plan will be successful. Therefore, as a main sponsor, we will help lay the financial foundation for the promotion. We are also extending our commitment to the club's young talents." Starting next season, Software AG will sponsor jerseys and equipment for all SV Darmstadt 98youth teams, emphasizing their approach to supporting young talents.

"Although we are a globally active group, it is important to us to be rooted firmly in the region. Our cooperation with the Lilies has helped us enormously to increase our visibility beyond the city limits and give Software AG, the brand, emotional appeal in the region," said Arnd Zinnhardt.

"HSE is a longstanding and reliable partner of the Lilies and sports clubs in the region. Professional and amateur sports are two sides of the same coin. A successful soccer team will strengthen the people's identification with their region and increase the area's attractiveness," says Albert Filbert, HSE's CEO, explaining HSE's commitment.

All sides have agreed to maintain secrecy about the financial details of the sponsoring agreements. Sponsoring will be adjusted to correspond to the team's progress.


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Norbert Eder
Software AG
Vice President Corporate Communications
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