Stoke City and St Pauli announce partnership agreement
Premier League club Stoke City and 2. Bundesliga side St. Pauli have agreed a "long-term cooperation."
The "strategic partnership" will be the first of its kind between a German and a Premier League club, and is set to expand beyond sports, with St. Pauli saying on their official website that the two sides have also agreed a partnership in "marketing, merchandising and media."
St. Pauli CEO Andreas Rettig, a former German Football League executive, said: "We are delighted that for the first time ever a Premier League club has struck a cooperation with a German team.
"We hope for added value in sport through advantages of Stoke City's worldwide scouting, but also in mode of practice, training of coaches and academy work. Director Ewald Lienen will fill the cooperation with life."
Stoke CEO Tony Scholes highlighted that both clubs are deeply embedded in the local communities, adding: "Therefore there will inevitably be things both clubs approach similarly, but St. Pauli have a different approach in the football business and they won a special reputation all over the world through that.
"We want to tap into that knowledge just like St. Pauli wants to tap into ours."
St. Pauli, based in Hamburg's Reeperbahn district, have won a unique reputation for being anti-establishment. Using all modern marketing channels, they have established a cult following with their iconic skull-and-crossbones logo.
During the recent G20 summit in Hamburg, director and former head coach Ewald Lienen joined the peaceful parts of the protests in the first row as the club opened its doors for protesters to make camp.
The two clubs will meet in a friendly at St. Pauli's Millerntorstadion in Hamburg on Aug. 1.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.