Bayern Munich’s preseason Audi Tour is an excellent and unique opportunity for the club to get some exposure to their diverse fan bases in the United States and engage in interactive events as a part of the club’s marketing efforts. This summer, Bayern has traveled to both Philadelphia and Miami for respective friendlies against Juventus and then Manchester City, unfortunately without the bulk of their players who participated in the World Cup. Still, though, the tour provides the club with a fantastic opportunity that club President Uli Hoeness and club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge are particularly appreciative of.
Earlier this month, Forbes put out a list ranking the top 50 most valuable sports clubs, in which Bayern Munich were ranked 12th with an overall valuation of $3.063 billion; a 13% [positive] difference from 2017. Manchester United (2nd), Real Madrid (3rd), and Barcelona (4th) were the only soccer teams above them in the overall rankings, but the Bayern brand continues to grow, with more than enough potential to rise higher in the rankings.
Per a report by Az, both Hoeness and Rummenigge have been quite impressed with all of the facilities they’ve seen in the United States thus far, as the two do everything in their power to try and bolster the Bayern brand across the globe. In the past, they’ve had majorly successful tours in China, Qatar, Singapore, and other countries as far as branding and marketing is concerned. Hoeness and Marko Pesic, managing director of Bayern Munich’s basketball team were particularly impressed by the Philadelphia 76ers training facility. Hoeness was quite fond of the facility and pointed out how successful the NBA and NFL are with their branding:
If we ever do that [at Bayern], we’d certainly come to Philadelphia and have a closer look at it; you can still learn something. The NBA and NFL have proven to be really strong in marketing and professionalism.
While Hoeness met with NBA representatives, Rummenigge focused his attention on the NFL, as he met with Philadelphis Eagles President Don Smolenski earlier this week. During their meeting, they discussed the NFL’s overseas marketing efforts where they try to have a few NFL games in Europe per season to help tap into their European market. For Bayern and the rest of Eorpean soccer, Rummenigge admitted, the same concept might not be as doable for competitive matches:
You have to respect the [European footballing] traditions, I can not imagine meeting Real Madrid in a Champions League match in New York.
Still, though, Bayern has already made huge leaps and bounds to tap into the North American market with the opening of their New York City office as well as their official partnership with FC Dallas in the MLS. Not to mention, the content sharing deal they struck with ESPN back May, giving the network the rights to use and share Bayern video content on its English and Spanish-language programs.
As our own Brian Kellogg put it in a piece back in February when the Dallas partnership was officially announced:
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.