Bayern Munich and the University of Denver announced a wide-ranging partnership, which will see the cub share its coaching philosophy and expertise with young players looking to pursue a career in sports, while completing higher education in the United States.
Jörg Wacker, FC Bayern Executive Board Member for Internationalization and Strategy discussed the positives for both parties:
FC Bayern is committed to growing soccer at all levels in the U.S. We are delighted to partner with a leading university, which has the country’s number one NCAA Division I College Soccer program, making our ambition of creating a variety of pathways for youngsters looking to pursue a career in soccer a reality.
Bayern and the University of Denver will exchange coaching techniques and experiences, benefiting students in the soccer program, who will have the opportunity to take part in a cultural exchange in Munich. Qualifying Bayern academy players could also benefit from the University of Denver’s outstanding athletic and education programs. In essence, Bayern will share of its coaching techniques and philosophies in exchange for opportunities for the continuing education of its players and developmental research opportunities.
Bayern’s President of the Americas, Rudolf Vidal provided more detail:
We have a permanent presence in the U.S., allowing us to constantly learn about the country’s culture of which higher education through sport is a big element. With the University of Denver, we are enabling young athletes to achieve academic excellence as well as the very best on-field development.
The alliance will have additional benefits as well, including access to the university’s sports facilities for training camps, as well as the opportunity to collaborate on research programs, which could include sports psychology and nutrition. In addition, all FC Bayern staff, including players, have the option to complete online courses. Rebecca Chopp, University of Denver Chancellor, was extremely happy with the announcement:
We are dedicated to delivering the highest level of education and by partnering with FC Bayern we will be delivering a global soccer program too. As an educational institution, we will be able to support the club in their research initiatives as well as offer their staff excellent educational opportunities in the U.S.
Bayern has made it a point to grow its brand in North America and has been seeking opportunities for further growth since 2014. Other successful ventures include:
- The wide-reaching grassroots program with Global Premier Soccer and more recently an elite player development program with MLS side, FC Dallas.
- A partnership with Columbia University, supporting the curriculum of their Sports Management Master’s program.
In the end, it is a fantastic opportunity for University of Denver head coach, Jamie Franks, and his squad:
I’m thrilled about this partnership that will give our staff the opportunity to benefit and observe some of the best coaching practices that helped develop world class talents including Philipp Lahm, Thomas Müller and Mats Hummels, that we can then bring back to our program to train our student-athletes. We also look forward to this partnership opening the door to potential cultural exchanges, academic opportunities and foreign tours to help benefit our student-athletes and the University of Denver going forward.