Having conquered Europe with their treble winning season, Bayern Munich are now set on international expansion by opening offices in New York and China according to Bild. The German paper contacted Jorg Wacker, Bayern board member in charge of internationalization and strategy, who confirmed the club's plans to start with a New York office.
"It's true," Wacker told Bild. "I was already there and had a look at space. We want to build a network and position the Bayern brand stronger in the United States."
The New York satellite office will open "within the next few months" with a China office to follow. Manager Pep Guardiola, who lived in New York with his family during the year between leaving Barcelona and joining Bayern, will reportedly lead his squad back Stateside for summer friendlies and training camps while the club's executives explore new corporate sponsorship opportunities in the U.S.
Bundesliga clubs haven't put as much focus on reaching out to other continents and their growing football fanbases as much as Premier League, La Liga and Serie A clubs have in recent years. But by opening actual bases of operations in the U.S. and China, Bayern show a major intent to change that.
Fox recently announced a five-year deal with the Deutsche Fussball Liga that will give them broadcast rights in the Americas and Asia starting in 2015/16, which is sure to give the Bundesliga a huge increase in international exposure. From the AP:
The agreements will leverage 21st Century Fox’s global distribution footprint in territories such as the United States, Brazil, Canada, China (in English), Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands and many more. In total, the agreements cover 80 countries or territories on four continents and will span three units of 21st Century Fox: Fox International Channels, Fox Sports and Sky Italia. Under the terms of the agreements, 21st Century Fox will be granted exclusive rights, subject to certain reserved rights, to the Bundesliga in the Americas and Asia – excluding India and the Oceania region – as well as Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.
The deal, which will take effect with the 2015-‘16 season, includes rights to all 306 Bundesliga matches each year, as well as the DFL-Supercup and the Bundesliga Relegation Playoffs. In addition, 21st Century Fox will attain digital distribution rights, including the ability to make DFL content available through new and existing authenticated online television services, as well as on mobile devices in the contracted territories.
We can only hope this means Franck Ribery will finally get a chance to host Saturday Night Live.
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