Sustainable Innovation

Hoffenheim land PreZero deal for Rhein-Neckar-Arena

Recycling company to take on stadium naming rights from Wirsol.

by Tom Bassam

Hoffenheim land PreZero deal for Rhein-Neckar-Arena

Top-tier German soccer club Hoffenheim have secured a new stadium naming rights deal with a subsidiary of the Schwarz Group, according to local media reports.

PreZero, a recycling company within the family-owned German retail group, will give its name to the Rhein-Neckar-Arena when it reopens following the Bundesliga’s winter break on 18th January as Hoffenheim take on Bayern Munich.

By signing up with a recycling firm Hoffenheim continue to add their green credentials, following December’s announcement that they had joined the Alliance for Development and Climate.

Wirsol, a solar energy company, has held the naming rights to Hoffenheim’s home since 2011, with that deal reportedly worth around €1.2 million (US$1.4 million) per year. The length and terms of the PreZero contract have not been announced.

Whilst Wirsol’s deal saw the Rhein-Neckar-Arena name retained the new arrangement will apparently see the venue simply called the PreZero Arena.

What the new deal means for Wirsol, which also provides a large amount of solar panels that part-power the stadium, remains unclear. The venue’s car park houses 5,500 square metres of solar panels to produce more than a megawatt of energy, making Hoffenheim the Bundesliga’s leading club in terms of renewables.

Schwarz Group, owners of supermarket chains Lidl and Kaufland, joins energy supplier WVV, Heidelberg Cement, technology firm SAP and sugar producer Südzucker as stadium partners.