Swapping tables at the sponsors season launch.

For the tenth time, Bayer 04 organised the traditional sponsors evening to launch the 2022/23 season on Tuesday 3 August. This provided the opportunity to meet up with sponsors and premium partners as well as partners in the Sponsors and Business club. The club management with CEO Fernando Carro and sporting managing director Simon Rolfes, the Werkself head coach Gerardo Seoane and captain Lukas Hradecky also joined the reunion at the Casino Hotel in Leverkusen. To facilitate discussion, the motto for the evening was 'swap tables'.

With warm summer temperatures, the participants changed tables after every course allowing them to hold discussions with the club management late on into the evening.

The MCs for the evening were the stadium announcers Petra 'Pitti' Dahl and Tobias Ufer. Before the first course, the guests were welcomed by the club management members Fernando Carro and sporting managing director Simon Rolfes. Fernando Carro: "It's incredibly important to come together at this level. Sponsors and partners are an irreplaceable mainstay of the club. We don't have an infinite number of sources of income and we have a relatively small stadium, so it feels like a big family where we want to further strengthen connections. I'm happy to see so many familiar faces again but also but also to be able to welcome numerous new family members today." Simon Rolfes revealed that the venue, sited directly opposite the Bayer AG headquarters, will be used as the official team hotel for the Werkself this season.


Interesting discussions

Musical accompaniment for the communal speed meeting session was provided by the 'beets 'n' berries' band. Whenever the five-piece blues and jazz group started the song 'You can go your own way' it was the signal to change tables.

Ahead of the main course, the Werkself head coach Gerardo Seoane, assistant coach Patrick Schnarwiler and team captain Lukas Hradecky made their way onto the stage. In an entertaining talk, the trio reviewed last season and looked back at the preseason plus the training camp in Zell am See-Kaprun. After the cup exit against SV 07 Elversberg and the Bundesliga opener at Borussia Dortmund (kick-off: 18.30 CEST), head coach Seoane was self-critical and focused: "It wasn't good enough against Elversberg, we were very disappointed with ourselves and we have also disappointed a lot of fans and yourselves. But now we want to turn it round. We have trained well and have been very focused. We want to produce a response on Saturday."

In a relaxed atmosphere, the topics for discussion covered football through to family and work. Above all, Bayer 04 player Melissa Friedrich drew interesting questions on her double Black and Red career. And the two head coaches, Seoane and the new Women's team head coach Robert de Pauw, had a lot to say and finished by agreeing to meet up soon. Lukas Hradecky gave some exciting insights into life with his teammates in the dressing room. But it was also a successful event for the sponsors in terms of getting to know each other better. It was so good that one or two missed the signal to change tables.


Eichin: "We want to take the next step"

The evening was rounded off with an unusual grilled desert and a roundtable discussion with the head coach of the Bayer 04 Women's team Robert de Pauw, Melissa Friedrich and the head of the Performance Centre Thomas Eichin. Eichin gave exciting insights into his day-to-day work and also expressed clear targets for the Women's section: "As the club, we want to contribute to the professionalisation of Women's football. That includes keeping up to speed but also primarily internal expert knowledge at all levels. With the sporting management from Achim Feifel and Robert (de Pauw, ed.) as modern and communicative coaches, we are set up well and we want to take the next step."

Bayer 04 says thank you to their sponsors and partners and looks forward to a successful season together in 2022/23.


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