Eintracht Braunschweig were Bundesliga champions in 1966/67 and were known in the 1970s for some unique marketing ideas...
bundesliga.com is taking you through all the teams to have graced Germany’s first division over the last 60 years – based on the number of seasons they’ve played up to and including 2023/24.
Years in Bundesliga: 21 (1963-73, 1974-80, 1981-85, 2013/14)
Most appearances: Franz Merkhoffer (419)
Most goals: Lothar Ulsaß (84)
Youngest player: Hartmut Konschal (18 years, four months, 12 days)
Of the 12 teams to have won the Bundesliga over the last 60 years, Braunschweig are probably the least well known. So well done if you got them. One of the 16 founding members, Eintracht were the fourth team to be champions, doing so in 1966/67 despite failing to finish in the top half of the table in the league’s first three seasons. They secured the title on the penultimate matchday with a 0-0 draw at Rot-Weiss Essen, which saw the club’s own four-time German racewalking champion Viktor Siuda (active within its athletics division) make the 328-kilometre journey from Braunschweig to Essen on foot. He arrived 20 minutes before kick-off.
Eintracht’s title win was all the more remarkable because, even though the players were professional and received 1,200 Deutschmark (around €600 in modern money) per month, as well as 250 DM (€125) per win, they mostly still had regular jobs, meaning they only trained four days a week.
Braunschweig appeared in all but two of the first 22 Bundesliga seasons before relegation in 1985 sparked a decline. It wasn’t until 2013/14 – during the 10-year tenure of Torsten Lieberknecht – that they enjoyed a one-season return to the top flight, finishing bottom. They have flitted between the second and third divisions for most of the last four decades.
Eintracht are perhaps most famous (or infamous) for being the first Bundesliga team to have advertisers on their jerseys. The problem in 1973, however, was that that wasn’t permitted by the German FA. So, when liquor producer Jägermeister – run by Günter Mast, who invested in the club – wanted to promote their products, the club got around the ban by changing their club logo to include the drink’s famous stag – despite the club’s nickname of Die Löwen (the Lions) – and Christian cross. The badge remained unchanged from 1972 to 1986, while the vast majority of members even voted in 1983 to rename the club FTSV Jägermeister Braunschweig. This was again refused by the DFB, which insisted that club names could not be used for advertising purposes.