Bayern Munich is one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world with vast business interests and sponsors like Audi, Adidas, and T-Mobile. The club is always expanding and one of the their newest business ventures is — or rather will soon be — in eSports. Club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed the club’s interest in gaming, saying (AZ),
We are in final discussions internally. I can imagine that we are leaning toward soccer games in eSports.
Bayern has already made some forays into gaming. The Japanese video game company Konami recently made a deal with Bayern over the summer for a partnership for their game Pro Evolution Soccer (PES). This could be just starting point for the club’s involvement in eSports. Bayern may be looking towards more than just sponsorships and partnerships with video game companies in the future. Rummenigge also talked about the club’s interest in having their own eSports team. He said,
We want to gain experience in the field and we will soon make a decision. I can imagine that it will be in favor of soccer eSports.
It was rumored that former club President Uli Hoeness was not as open to getting into the gaming industry. It thus makes sense that this news is coming out now that Hoeness has stepped down.
Bayern Munich may have some issues when it comes to “fielding” their own eSports teams. Electronic Arts and their game FIFA is much more popular and is the official game for the FIFA eSports World Cup and many other official eSports tournaments and leagues.
But Bayern Munich is not the only club that has decided not to do business with EA. Juventus went as far as to forbid EA to use their name in their game. It is clear that clubs like Bayern and Juve see the massive amounts of money being made in eSports and want a bigger piece of the pie than EA is willing to give.
For now, it seems that Bayern will be interested in eSports only when it comes to sports video games like Pro Evolution Soccer or NBA 2K. They do not see themselves getting into games like Fortnite or League of Legends in the future.