At first glance, at least from the perspective of a Bayern Munich fan, the recently announced partnership with FC Dallas of Major League Soccer may look a little odd. However, the hierarchy at Bayern rarely makes a misstep and upon a deeper analysis this deal has only positives for the Bundesliga side.
Bayern sees that the popularity of soccer in the United States is growing and much of that success is because of millennials, the younger generation. According to a recent gallup pole soccer is the second most popular spectator sport among those 18 to 34 years old and is the third most popular sport for 35 to 54 years old.
Soccer is becoming mainstream in the homes of families across the country. The partnership the Bundesliga has with Fox Sports allows for young American players to see the quality of play in Germany, and the Christian Pulisic factor, even though he plays for rival Dortmund, doesn’t hurt either.
Bayern is using this popularity and has already established an off the field presence in the United States with their Madison Avenue offices in New York City constantly pushing their branding envelope and digital strategy. A separate partnership established in 2014 with Global Premier Soccer helps to grow soccer in North America at a grassroots level and has given Bayern insight into the youth level of soccer on the other side of the Atlantic.
Bayern’s partnership with FC Dallas is not the first for European clubs and organizations and MLS teams. Manchester City and NYCFC are both under the City Football Group umbrella. Red Bull Leipzig and the New York Red Bulls share the same owners. Even the San Jose Earthquakes have an agreement in place with the German Football Association (DFB).
This partnership with FC Dallas is different as each club clearly has different ownership groups and Bayern Munich is not the DFB, but the most successful German soccer club of all-time.
FC Bayern Munich’s President of the Americas, Rudolf Vidal, commented,
This is a unique alliance between two historic teams at the forefront of youth development. We are proud to announce this partnership with FC Dallas, who have pioneered professional soccer in the U.S. Working with FC Dallas at this elite level will complement the extensive grassroots infrastructure we have helped create over the last few years in North America.
Bayern picked the perfect partner in FC Dallas, who FourFourTwo labeled as having the “best academy in MLS.” North Central Texas, along with California and New York, is widely regarded as one of the hotbeds of youth soccer in the United States.
This alliance allows for Bayern Munich to get a first glance ant the top prospects in the region that have included Weston McKennie, Emerson Hyndman, and Kellyn Acosta. FC Dallas has signed twenty homegrown players, the most in MLS, and had eight academy players invited the first US National Team Summit in January.
With the quality of Major League Soccer and their academies improving every year partnering with an elite club such as FC Dallas can only be a positive for Bayern Munich.
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