The cooperation agreement concluded in 2017 between VfL Wolfsburg and Chattanooga FC (CFC) will be expanded and will include further specifications. Among other things, the German Bundesliga team will be the official sponsor of the 2021 away kit for the men's team currently playing in the US third division NISA and based out of the Volkswagen production site in Tennessee. As a result, Chattanooga FC will take to the pitch at away stadiums with the VfL logo on their chest. In addition to this new model of kit sponsorship, which is unprecedented anywhere in the world, the expanded partnership will focus on two key areas: From 2022 onwards, there will be a Chattanooga FC women's team once again and the Bundesliga club from Lower Saxony will also be supporting Chattanooga FC in its youth programs, player development and coaching education.
Return of the Chattanooga FC women's team
As of next year (2022), the unique club from Chattanooga that is owned by its supporters from around the world, will once again send a female team out on to the pitch. VfL Wolfsburg will not only support the return of the women's team, which left the game in 2018, but will also play an active role in strategic planning and the development of further collaborations. In addition, in close cooperation with the Chattanooga FC Academy and the Chattanooga FC, the German Bundesliga club will pass on its experience in promoting young talents, training coaches and developing players.
"Next level of the long-standing partnership"
"We have a longstanding partnership with Chattanooga FC, which we are now taking to the next level," said VfL Managing Director Michael Meeske, who is pleased about the steps agreed between the sides. "With this unique activation at an important Volkswagen location, we want to make our contribution to providing sustainable support to the local community. Our logo on the chest of the away jerseys symbolizes the fact that we will increasingly share our values and stance with the club in the future and not only support it through know-how transfer in promoting youth development, but also take an holistic approach together to drive this into a true partnership and in the course of this, also bring women's football back to Chattanooga." For VfL Sporting Director Marcel Schäfer, who ended his playing career in the USA in 2018 at the Tampa Bay Rowdies and knows US football very well, the expanded cooperation with the club in Chattanooga which is a partner city of Wolfsburg, is something very special and something really close to his heart: "In my opinion, Chattanooga FC is absolutely unique and a true one-off. The club is owned by its fans, which resonates with me in a special way. I have been there several times myself and was always impressed and inspired by the vibrancy and energy of this club and city. I am pleased that we can support this extraordinary club with our commitment to further expand its soccer offerings."
"We worked hard"
Chattanooga FC is also looking forward to the next steps with plenty of excitement and anticipation. "Today's announcement is the culmination of a decade of hard work, building this partnership with our friends in Wolfsburg," said Tim Kelly, Board Chairman of Chattanooga FC. “There are some truly exciting things to come for Chattanooga FC, and we’re proud to be leading the way forward for American soccer.” Especially in view of the current global challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic, Managing Director Jeremy Alumbaugh said expanding and honouring such a strong partnership was not a matter of course. He said: "And as the saying goes when times get tough, you rely on your friends. This last year, we really worked to deepen our partnership, and what we’re seeing today is just the first step of a truly exciting future together."