FC BATE is the top Belorussian football club and is well considered to be the most successful club in the country. FC BATE has also shown significant European performance in the UEFA competitions.
RIAS: FC BATE is
considered to be one of the most successful clubs in Eastern Europe thanks to
your sport achievements. We would like to ask directly: Did your last year
victory in the UEFA
Champions League over FC Bayern, the future winner of the tournament, somehow turn into new
commercial connections, sponsorship proposal and etc.?
M.D.: Any victory, especially top level ones, is the best promotion for the club. They create goodwill for the brand. We should speak not about the one victory over FC Bayern, but about the gradual development of our club, our regular participation in UEFA competitions. We should not forget that BATE did not lose a single time to FC Juventus in 2008/2009 season and gained the victory over AEK Athens and Everton at UEFA Europa League the year after, and in 2010/11 season successfully passed the UEFA Europa League Group Stage after the victory over FC Dynamo Kiev, AZ Alkmaar from Holland and FC Sheriff from Moldavia. The visit of FC Barcelona is a significant event in the history of Belorussian football, though the Catalans won twice. All these factors are beneficial for our negotiations with sponsors.
RIAS: To go on
with this topic we can't help remembering your achievements in Season 2008/09.
We had the least budget among all Champions League participants and earned
considerably sum of 6.3 million Euro. This effected your relations with
sponsors, didn't it? Please tell us about the change. Taking into account the
positive trend of development of your club, how sponsors have changed their
attitude towards your club? Do you have any interesting stories?
M.D.: This first success in the Champions League allowed us to revise our development strategy a bit. In the first place we managed to realize that there is nothing impossible. If we analyze the way our club has developed over the last 5 years, than we have made several steps forward in terms of sport, facility and organizational terms. We have strengthen our coach staff with new foreign professionals, we are building a stadium, thinking of a new educational and training base and youth academy, we have launched a new BATE webpage. It would difficult event to think of it without achievements on pitch.
Sponsors change their attitude to us. For example, we have signed a three-year agreement with a new technical sponsor on the terms more favourable that we had with the last equipment supplier. Next year BATE will play in the equipment Joma.
RIAS: Your title
sponsor now is the Belorussian insurance company Belgosstrakh (Белгосстрах). Is it real for a club from Eastern Europe to
invite a foreign sponsor?
M.D.: There is nothing unreal. What concerns Belgosstrakh, the company is our longstanding and loyal partner who we have cooperated for many years already. This is a serious company, an insurance market leader in Belarus. We have full understanding with their managers. At the same time we are open for new offers. We need to understand though that there are other issues which are as important as the financial ones, - the long run, confidence in a partner, a potential sponsor's interest in the Belorussian market. We have not received any offer so far which could interest us more than Belgosstrakh. Nevertheless I should repeat that we are open to discuss new ways of cooperation with both Belorussian and foreign companies.
RIAS: Since we
mentioned insurance, we would be interested to learn your opinion about the
modern opportunities of cooperation between insurance companies and football
clubs. Is it good to insure risks? If there were more insurance products for
sports teams, would you consider cooperation?
M.D.: We hold the opinion that the more options the club has, the better, including insurance.
please tell us more about the stadium you are building and your cooperation
with the Slovenian company Ofis arhitekti.
M.D.: We have the reason to choose Ofis arhitekti. We had studied stadiums of the similar capacity. We really very much liked the Ludski Vrt arena in Maribor which was designed by the Ofis arhitekti team. Though there were some difficulties with the realization of the project in Maribor: the old tribunes of the arena are the historical site. That is why new sectors had to be 'implanted' in the stately protected structures.
We did not have any such difficulties and the architects had full freedom to create. And the design of the stadium really impresses. The capacity of the arena amounts to 13 000 spectators, which is in full conformity with the UEFA stadium category 4. This allows us to hold Group stage matches of the UEFA Championship League. By the way we are now working at selling the naming rights for the arena.