The organisation and marketing of professional football in Germany are the core functions of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH. Chief executive Christian Seifert and COO Andreas Rettig head up the organisation, which was founded in May 2001.
The DFL has a wide and multi-facetted brief, with the organisation of the league schedule constituting a foundational element. The DFL is responsible for the scheduling of all 612 regular-season matches in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, as well as arrangements for the promotion/relegation play-offs - ensuring smooth-running, well-balanced and above all exciting competition in Germany's professional leagues.
Core function: licensing
The licensing of the 36 professional clubs in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 is a core element of the DFL brief. The licensing system is one of the strictest in the European game and held up as exemplary. The DFL examines each club's fitness to participate in the league according to a range of criteria covering sporting, legal, staffing, administrative, infrastructural, security, media-technical and above all financial competence. It is first and foremost thanks to this rigorous licensing code that not a single club has been forced to initiate insolvency proceedings during the ongoing season in the half-century history of the Bundesliga.
The further enhancement of the Bundesliga brand is a central pillar of DFL strategy. The continuous development and marketing of "in-house" products is part of that strategy and the DFL has accordingly long since established itself as a content provider.
Strategic brand management in both a national and international context as the basis for the further growth of marketing revenues is another constituent part of the DFL's day-to-day operations.
DFL Sports Enterprises oversees marketing rights
DFL Sports Enterprises, a 100 percent DFL subsidiary established in September 2008, is responsible for the distribution of marketing rights of games in the professional leagues for television, radio and internet broadcast, both in Germany and abroad. DFL Sports Enterprises furthermore has the remit to market the league's own platforms and trademark licences.
The bundling of distribution procedures encourages content synergies and the sustained development of proprietary distributional capacities. The overarching goal is to drive on the process of increasing revenues in the sphere of international TV rights through the DFL's subsidiary, while further optimising the potential of the league's own platforms - bundesliga.com/.de among them.
DFL Digital Sports develops and delivers tailor-made digital solutions
Since September 2012, 100 percent subsidiary DFL Digital Sports GmbH has been working to further increase the medial net value of the Bundesliga both at home and abroad. DFL Digital Sports GmbH runs the websites www.bundesliga.de and www.bundesliga.com in addition to managing the Bundesliga's image and data archives (the German Football Archive).
A 35-strong team in Cologne is also responsible for media events such as the recent "50 years of the Bundesliga," as well as the annual season-opening ceremony, title celebrations and DFL Supercup.
SPORTCAST GmbH, founded in 2006 and another 100 percent DFL subsidiary, is authorised to deliver the base TV signal for all 612 games in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. This guarantees a standardised, distinctive, high-quality match presentation and makes a further elemental contribution to the brand marketing of the Bundesliga.
The longest-established subsidiary is LIGA TRAVEL, a joint venture set up by the DFL and travel specialists HRG Germany in 2002. Among other things, the company arranges made-to-measure travel packages for teams, sponsors, the media and fans - from the flight right through to transport to the stadium.