Wingcopter delivering football kits via drone


Fans of German football club SV Darmstadt 98 can support their team and the fledgling drone delivery industry now that a new partnership sees Wingcopter delivering its merchandise.

Despite the festive feeling in the Michelstadt region of Germany, fans will not receive all of their club merchandise via sleigh and reindeer this year. SV Darmstadt 98 is the first soccer club in the world to deliver popular items from its own store to its fans by delivery drone. Made possible by Wingcopter and the LieferMichel pilot project.

Residents of two Michelstadt districts can order a selection of Darmstadt 98 jerseys, scarves and Christmas accessories online. Once a delivery window has been selected, item are then flown by delivery drones to fixed landing points just outside of the villages, from where they are transported to the customer’s front door by electric cargo bike.

“We have been in touch with SV Darmstadt 98 concerning collaboration potential for some time,” Thomas Dreiling, communications manager, Wingcopter told us. “When we launched the LieferMichel pilot project, it quickly became a no-brainer to add some of their merch to the platform because they have a lot of supporters in the Odenwald region.”

Martin Kowalewski MD of SV Darmstadt 1898 said: “We have established in our mission statement that we want to combine tradition with innovation and modernity. The cooperation with Wingcopter is a perfect example of this: We want to be pioneers of innovation and constantly develop new ways to bring our fans closer to the club — or vice versa in this case.”

LieferMichel is a pilot project being conducted by the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and Wingcopter and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport as part of the Innovative Air Mobility funding directive. Since October residents of the two participating districts of Michelstadt can order everyday goods from the local REWE Center and have them delivered by Wingcopter. Other partners in the project are Vodafone and cargo bike manufacturer Riese & Müller.

Ansgar Kadura co-founder and Chief Services Officer of Wingcopter added: “We are proud to have gained an exciting partner for the LieferMichel project in SV Darmstadt 98, who are working with us on innovative ways to reach people in rural regions. We look forward to soaring to new heights together in the coming weeks.”

Wingcopter believes that drone delivery could be a way for all German football clubs to distribute merchandise to their fans, most days every delivery slot is booked out said Dreiling. “Yes, definitely. Your team plays tonight and you plan a watch party but don’t have the latest club merch – not only regular jerseys and scarfs, but also ugly Christmas sweaters and other Christmas accessories. It will be on your doorstep in an hour or so,” he told us.