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VfL Bochum 1848 Announces Strategic Club Partnership with Canadian Premier League's Pacific FC.

by: Roger Hampel

Vfl Bochum Pacific FC
Vfl Bochum Pacific FC

Patrick Fabian, Josh Simpson, Ilja Kaenzig and Tim Jost | Photo Credit: VfL Bochum

VfL Bochum 1848 has established a strategic club partnership with Canadian Premier League's (CPL) Pacific FC, marking the first collaboration between clubs from the Bundesliga and the CPL. The partnership is a key component of VfL Bochum 1848's internationalization strategy, aimed at achieving the ambitious "Vision 100+" growth plan, targeting a Bundesliga revenue of €100 million. This move follows VfL Bochum's recent cooperation with Japanese J1-League club Júbilo Iwata in March 2024.


“Admittedly, our international growth is a ‘light version’, it is done with a sense of proportion. As VfL Bochum, we know that our home is on Castroper Street and that our potential lies in the 18 million or so supporters throughout Germany. We need to be smart in our activities abroad, because nobody has been waiting for us there. Nonetheless, the cooperation with Pacific FC offers a lot of opportunities for VfL.”

 Ilja Kaenzig, CEO of VfL Bochum 1848


Pacific FC, based in Greater Victoria, British Columbia, secured their first Canadian Championship in the 2021 season, earning a spot in the CONCACAF League 2022, the North and Central American equivalent of the UEFA Champions League. It was founded on June 1, 2018 as a club without a fixed local affiliation under the project name Port City FC. On July 20, the club was renamed Pacific FC. The team plays its home games at the 6,000-capacity Starlight Stadium in Langford on Vancouver Island. The club's president and co-owner, former Canadian football professional Joshua "Josh" Simpson, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership, emphasizing the potential benefits for both parties.

“For us, the partnership with VfL Bochum is a valuable step in the club's development and has great potential. The Canadian Premier League and Pacific FC are still young, so in many areas we have different approaches to issues than the successfully established clubs in the Bundesliga. From my own experience, I know how important soccer is in Germany and what a great impact it can have. I am equally convinced that everyone involved will benefit from the partnership. Our thanks also go to Henning Bindzus, who set up this partnership with talks and developed the work we now see with our clubs.”

Joshua "Josh" Simpson, Pacific FC’s President and Co-owner

Vfl Bochum Pacific FC
Vfl Bochum Pacific FC

Tim Jost, Henning Bindzus, Josh Simpson, Ilja Kaenzig and Patrick Fabian | Photo credits: VfL Bochum


The Chief Sports Business Advisor, Henning Bindzus, initiated the cooperation together with the club officials. He advises national and international clubs, companies and decision-makers in the sports industry, primarily in soccer. Previously, the sports economics graduate worked for a number of years in leadership positions on both the club and corporate sides.

Tim Jost, Director of Marketing & Sales at VfL Bochum 1848, highlighted the alignment of the club's ambitions with the Canadian market, citing Canada's co-hosting of the 2026 FIFA World Cup with the USA. Tim Jost emphasized the cultural and strategic significance of the Canadian football landscape, indicating VfL Bochum's holistic approach, aiming to explore economic collaborations and educational partnerships alongside sporting endeavors.


“We've had the Canadian Premier League in our radar for some time, and the market is absolutely right for us because of its cultural proximity, among other things, and its potential is more than exciting.”

Tim Jost, Director of Marketing & Sales at VfL Bochum 1848


Canadian soccer is still in a developmental phase, making VfL an ideal partner to contribute expertise to the league's growth. The Canadian Premier League is a professional soccer league under the umbrella of the  Canadian Soccer Association and FIFA. After being founded in 2017, it began play in April  2019 with an initial seven teams. Eight teams currently compete for the title. Strong economic ties between Canada and Germany, including relationships with many companies in North Rhine-Westphalia, further underscore the strategic significance of this collaboration. Kaenzig emphasized Canada's growth ambitions, with Ottawa anticipating approximately ten million new immigrants by 2030.


"These people come from Europe, Asia, and Africa and bring with them a passion for soccer from their home countries. More than 3 million Canadians, or 10%, already claim to be of German descent. This all represents great footballing potential for us."

Ilja Kaenzig, CEO of VfL Bochum 1848

Vfl Bochum Pacific FC
Vfl Bochum Pacific FC

Photo Credit: Pacific FC


The partnership also aims to advance the development of young Canadian players in Germany, fostering exchanges in coaching development, scouting, and match analysis. The CPL focuses primarily on Canadian players in  order to strengthen domestic soccer. Patrick Fabian, Managing Director Sport at VfL Bochum 1848, highlighted the significance of the partnership with Pacific FC, emphasizing its inclusion of both men's and women's clubs. With Canadian soccer emerging as a prominent market, especially in anticipation of the 2026 World Cup, mutual benefits are anticipated, leveraging the established prowess of Canadian women's soccer and the promising trajectory of men's soccer.


“The partnership with Pacific FC is a special one for us, as it involves both the men and the women across all clubs. The Canadian soccer market is one of the up-and-coming markets in men's soccer and will continue to develop rapidly with a view to the 2026 World Cup. Canadian women's soccer has already been among the international leaders for years. We will therefore certainly be able to benefit from each other”

Patrick Fabian, Managing Director Sport at VfL  Bochum 1848.


VfL Bochum 1848's involvement aligns with the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL)'s strategy to strengthen its presence in key foreign markets, aiming for increased revenue through enhanced visibility. The partnership with Pacific FC serves as evidence that even a club of VfL Bochum's size can actively contribute to the DFL's growth trajectory. Kaenzig remarked, "The partnership with Pacific FC proves that even a club the size of VfL Bochum can proactively contribute to the growth of the DFL with commitment and imagination. There is a funding pot for this, for which we want to qualify for with work like this."


Additionally, Football Business Journal's readers can anticipate exclusive content related to this collaboration. In the coming weeks, you can look forward to an in-depth conversation with Ilja Kaenzig or Tim Jost (both VfL Bochum), Josh Simpson (Pacific FC), and Henning Bindzus (Thinking About Sports), offering further insights into this exciting partnership and beyond. Stay tuned for more details!


Vfl Bochum Pacific FC
Vfl Bochum Pacific FC

Photo Credit: VfL Bochum


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