Borussia Dortmund's Southeast Asian push extends into Thailand

German football giants Borussia Dortmund have extended their push into Southeast Asia, announcing a partnership on Saturday with Thai club Suphanburi City.

Following the success of Borussia Dortmund’s relationship with Malaysian club Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), the Bundesliga club has announced a similar partnership with Suphanburi City.

I’m very convinced that this is the perfect fit for future collaboration

- Carsten Cramer, Borussia Dortmund

The partnership is designed to benefit both parties, with Dortmund hoping to pass on some of their expertise to the Thai club, while also building their brand in the region.

Dortmund’s partnership with JDT is into its second year and included the two clubs meeting in Johor last year. It is hoped the German side will return to Southeast Asia, potentially in 2017.

“There is one overall guideline for everything we do when it comes to international activities – it has to be authentic,” Benedikt Scholz, Dortmund’s head of international relations, told a press conference on Saturday prior to the club’s Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen.

“Authentic means it has to be somehow connected to what we do here in Dortmund. Our youth academy is quite successful for the club and we had to focus on that youth academy for a lot of years because we had financial problems, especially in 2005-06.

“This is a core for the club now, developing young talent. There are a lot of names you have heard, like Marco Reus, Mario Gotze, Mats Hummels. Those guys came out of this academy or at least had some years in this academy.

“Therefore it’s a logical step for us to look into if there are partners that are interested in this knowledge. Reliable, long-term partners. Then we are happy to pass on this knowledge.

“In return I think there is some interest in foreign markets, but we aren’t yet on a stage like Real Madrid or Barcelona.

“We are looking for partners that are interested in some of our knowledge and in return they can obviously give us a presence in their market.

“Therefore we think it’s a highly beneficial relationship for both parties.”

Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel during last year's trip to Johor

A number of representatives from Suphanburi were in Dortmund for the announcement, including Suphanburi Football Academy chief executive Teerarat Chungyingruangroong.

“We are excited to have this partnership with Borussia Dortmund,” Chungyingruangroong said.

“The Thai football market is growing and growing. Today the young players have limited opportunities to increase their ability and their skill.

“Suphanburi has built a foundation of youth football for over 10 years and we hope to develop professional players and world class players in the future.

“We are looking forward to learning some of Borussia Dortmund’s expertise and also they are looking to extend their fan base in Southeast Asia.

“So for those reasons we have chosen Borussia Dortmund as a long-term partner.”

Dortmund’s push into Asia began with the establishment of an office in Singapore.

The club’s director of sales and marketing, Carsten Cramer, felt a partnership with a Thai outfit was a natural next step. The two parties have signed an initial three-year deal.

“It’s a very special day for us,” Cramer said. “Not just for our Bundesliga game later with Werder Bremen, it’s also to announce our partnership with Suphanburi.

“We have developed an international strategy which has a focus on the Southeast Asian region.

“There are many, many connections between our two countries … you are very successful but don’t just focus on celebrities and football. You are interested in educating young people.

“This is similar to what Borussia Dortmund have done the last 10 years and I’m very convinced that this is the perfect fit for future collaboration.”