FC St. Pauli is famous for their famous (or infamous) skull and crossbones logo. The Hamburg club has jumped between German leagues appearing in the Bundesliga in 2010/11 but mainly playing in the Bundesliga 2.
The side rose to prominence in the 1980’s becoming an anti-establishment ‘Kult’ club and adopted the skull logo at this time. The traditional logo of pirates on the high seas were added to black flags of St Pauli and over time were added to other official merchandise of the club.
Despite strong fan support, poor form on the field led the team to near bankruptcy and with relegation to the Regionalia-Nord (III) looming sold 90% of their merchandising rights to Upsolut Merchandising in 2004.
The club has been trying to buy back the merchandising rights since 2009 and the 5-year legal battle appeared destined for the German courts until earlier this month when the 2 sides came to an amicable agreement with St. Pauli buying back the merchandising rights for $1.38 million effective on January 1, 2016.
St Pauli president Oke Göttlich called the agreement ‘a milestone, a big step for our independence’ and a big step toward the club developing new investment streams as they try and earn promotion back to the lucrative Bundesliga.