Wednesday, August 13, 2014

FC Bayern Munich Plots American Invasion After World Cup Success

Six of Germany's 11 starters in the World Cup final on July 13 play together for the powerhouse Bundesliga club Bayern Munich. A seventh Bayern player, Mario Götze, came off the bench to score Germany's game-winning goal in extra time and power Die Mannschaft to the most coveted trophy in team sports.
Now, after many of its stars helped Germany conquer the soccer world, Bayern Munich has its sights set on another goal: America.
Bayern Munich on Thursday launched a USA-specific website — what it says is the first of its kind in global soccer to offer specific content for American fans, as opposed to simple English translations of more general content. The site launch comes after Bayern opened its first overseas office, in New York City, earlier this year. And later this month, the club launches a brief American tour highlighted by a match against Chivas Guadalajara in New Jersey on July 31 and a showcase against Major League Soccer all-stars in Portland, Oregon.
"There are 60 million soccer fans in the U.S., 15 million of those are fans have shown interest in FC Bayern. For us it is about fan engagement and staying in close touch with our supporters," Rudolf Vidal, Bayern's managing director in the States, told Mashable in an email. "But we also want to reach out to the other 45 million who have set viewership records in the U.S. during the World Cup to start a dialogue."

Much of that dialogue will begin with the new U.S. site, which will include articles about Bayern's iconic senior men's team, as well as unrelated soccer content geared toward American fans of the sport and information on Bayern's basketball and women's soccer teams.
Vidal says Bayern "absolutely" sees the U.S. as a more of a soccer market now than it was five years ago and that "global engagement and a global presence is part of the club's natural progression."
Bayern also has an ace in the hole that will make many American soccer fans pay it special attention in the coming months and years: Nineteen-year-old Julian Green, a highly touted German-American prospect who plays for Bayern, famously committed his international future to the U.S. over Germany this spring and two weeks ago scored a stellar goal for the USMNT against Belgium on the very first touch of his World Cup career.
As soccer continues to grow in popularity Stateside — at the same times as MLS still has quite a ways to go to rival Europe's best leagues — Bayern's strategy is one other top clubs would be wise to replicate.
Just how well Bayern's plan for an increased American footprint works remains to be seen. But it's already proof of one thing: As soccer's profile continues to grow Stateside, the sport's top global brands will be looking to cash in on that increased interest.

No comments:

Post a Comment