A brand with a long tradition is returning to the Bundesliga: as of the 2018/19 season, Derbystar will supply the Official Match Ball for both the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. The partnership with this internationally recognised specialist is set to run over four seasons until 2021/22. The announcement was made today by DFL Sports Enterprises (DFL SE) in Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
As long ago as the 1970/71 season, Derbystar was represented in the Bundesliga through numerous partnerships with different clubs. In the 1979/80 season, Derbystar balls were used in all 306 matches played in the Bundesliga.
“Our new partner Derbystar has long stood for the highest product quality – quality that is acknowledged by clubs and players alike. We also appreciate the international distribution network Derbystar maintains together with Select Sport, its parent company,” says Jörg Daubitzer, CEO of DFL SE.
“Our return to the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 underscores the company’s strong position in the market and our very positive performance in recent years,” says Andreas Filipovic, who is in charge of sales and sponsoring on Derbystar’s board. “We have doubled our sales since 2010. Our presence in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 will strengthen the brand,” says Joachim Böhmer, the board member at Derbystar responsible for marketing and procurement.
Since its foundation in 1968, Derbystar has specialised in the production of hand-stitched sports balls and was among the first manufacturers to use synthetic materials for this purpose. This decision was seen as groundbreaking in the mid-1970s and remains a benchmark in terms of innovation.
In 1991 Derbystar Sportartikel GmbH became part of Select Sport A/S (Select), a Danish sports ball specialist that has been an industry benchmark since 1947. Select was the first company, for instance, to develop a 32-panel soccer ball in 1962 and a hand-stitched polyurethane ball in 1974. In 1996, Select advised FIFA in creating modern universal standards for soccer balls. Derbystar/Select balls are the official match balls in the soccer leagues of the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and Belgium.
Derbystar/Select takes corporate social responsibility seriously: at its ball production sites in Pakistan, it not only ensures the highest quality standards, but also fair working conditions for its employees. All of the some three million balls it produces annually in Pakistan are manufactured by Anwar Khawaja Industries (AKI), a Fairtrade-certified company. The approximately 7,500 stitchers and their families benefit from a comprehensive health and education program the company set up in 1996.