Sports sponsoring in the Braunschweig-Wolfsburg region has for many years been an important part of the corporate activities with which Volkswagen Financial Services assume social responsibility. This commitment has now been expanded. The Volkswagen Group's finance division is now providing financial support to young sportsmen and women in Lower Saxony. A funding pot of up to one million euros per year has been made available for this purpose. A high-profile jury panel will decide on the amount and duration of the individual sponsorships.
While top-level sports in Germany can rely on a solid financing base in most instances, the situation is quite different in many cases when it comes to the field of youth sport. Without the support of parents, grandparents or other sponsors, young sporting talents would be hardly able to pursue their passion at all – particularly in the more expensive disciplines. At the latest after school is completed, the question arises whether to continue pursuing the dream of top-class sport or rather earn money first.
In order to give talented up-and-coming athletes more financial leeway to make their choice, Volkswagen Financial Services have expanded their sports sponsorship and are now making up to one million euros per year available to the new generation of sportsmen and women. The offer is aimed specifically at sporting youngsters in the state of Lower Saxony from as many different sports as possible. Frank Fiedler, Chief Financial Officer of Volkswagen Financial Services AG, explained the company's involvement: "We are known as a good corporate citizen and we take our social responsibility very seriously. We therefore see our realignment in the field of sports sponsoring as an important addition to our activities."
Jury of experts decides on sponsorship amount and duration
The initial requirement for sponsorship is the submission of an informative online application at https://sporttalente.vwfs.com. The final selection of the sports talents will be made by a high-profile jury panel comprising members with the broadest possible range of expertise – including current top athletes and sports representatives:
- Arnd Peiffer, World champion and Olympic champion in biathlon
- Alexandra Popp, National soccer player, Olympic champion, player with VfL Wolfsburg
- Manfred Kehm, Team Leader, Competitive Sports Promotion, LandesSportBund Niedersachsen e.V.
- Andreas Hundt, Career advisor at the Olympic Training Center Lower Saxony
- Dr. Kerstin Loehr, Editor-in-Chief of the Braunschweiger Zeitung newspaper
- Frank Fiedler, Member of the Management Board of Volkswagen Financial Services AG
- Dr. Michael Reinhart, Chairman of the Management Board of Volkswagen Bank GmbH
Dr. Michael Reinhart, Chairman of the Management Board of Volkswagen Bank GmbH commented: "Sport is fundamental for social coexistence, creates a sense of togetherness and belonging, and connects people across cultural, social, physical and linguistic boundaries. Sport conveys values such as fair play, respect, and team spirit. Communicating these values has always been of great importance to Volkswagen Financial Services. That is why the company is committed to being a regional sponsor of young sports talent from 2023 onwards."
Wide range of funding opportunities
All teams and individual athletes between the ages of 13 and 24 who take part in sports tournaments and competitions are eligible to apply. Sport is regarded for this purpose as a physical or cognitive comparison between different participants. This also embraces young talents with physical disabilities. When teams apply, the highest permitted age in the age group applies; a U23 team would be eligible to participate. The promotion of young talents is aimed at sportspersons with starting rights in the state of Lower Saxony, which means that their sports club must be located in Lower Saxony. Eligible expenses include, for example, expenses for trainers, coach fees, training camps, competitions, travel costs, equipment, rental costs and sportswear. The maximum sponsoring amount is 50,000 euros per athlete or team.