ImageThe German Professional Sports Initiative (IPD), founded on the 23rd of November 2009, will now act as a combined voice for the Beko Basketball League (Beko BBL), the German Ice Hockey League (DEL), the German Football League (DFL) and the TOYOTA Handball League (TOYOTA HBL).

The newly formed association represents around 50 million fans, a yearly turnover of around €2.2 billion, as well as 42,000 jobs and 60 locations throughout Germany. The goal of the initiative is to give added weight to professional sport in the political arena. Political dialogues should increase.

Topics expected to be addressed by the group in the next few month include the fight against digital piracy, working with the betting market to help finance amateur sport, finding a reliable way to regulate taxes and the negotiation of media rights.

"The professional sport in Germany established to a growth sector in the last decades. That’s why we need to intensify the political dialogue considering the particularities of sport", Christian Seifert, CEO of the DFL, said. "The fan, the sports, the clubs and the leagues are affected. There are only losers, as long as these advertisements are forbidden", Jan Pommer, CEO of Beko BBL, said, at a time when Europe is facing one of its largest ever sports betting scandals.