In a recent chat with Audi Marketing Director Hildegard Wortmann, Oliver Kahn outlined some of the plans he has for Bayern Munich once he officially takes charge as CEO as of January of next year (Tz).
Kahn be taking over for Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, whom he’s been shadowing for the better part of this season and last season as well to get a better idea of what’s expected of him when he takes over for “Kalle.”
For starters, Kahn began by saying he wants to reduce hierarchies at FC Bayern. The club’s front office and supervisory board has had their fare share of disagreements in the past, especially when it comes to transfers and transfer strategies. For example, the supervisory board has authoritative veto powers for transfers that exceed €25 million, which has caused disagreements in the past transfer windows.
“For me personally, hierarchy was no longer important. Then you come to FC Bayern, the club is 120 years old, and then I felt these hierarchies again. I am convinced that hierarchies can be harmful. Rigid hierarchies basically slow down processes extremely,” Kahn explained.
For the better part of the past ten months, Kahn has been working on one of his biggest projects, which he calls “FC Bayern Ahead.” This initiative is designed to create more cohesive communication and cooperation amongst all departments at FC Bayern AG and eV. Kahn started this project by putting out a survey to all employees of all departments at the club to get honest feedback and criticism to get a better idea of where improvements can be made. He wants there to be more unity and solidarity amongst all departments at the club as to ensuring that communication and clarity is as strong as it could possibly be.
Speaking specifically about FC Bayern Ahead, Kahn said, “It is a strategy project where we ask ourselves: What are the success factors of the future? Are they still the same as they are now? Can you simply transfer the success factors of the past into the future?”
Kahn had also been wary of the past that younger generations are tuning into sports less and less. They are using digital streaming platforms more for entertainment purposes like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. While a lot of those digital platforms do offer live sports, overall viewership among younger generations in trending downward at an alarming rate.
In that sense, Kahn realizes FC Bayern’s competitors aren’t just their Bundesliga rivals or other top clubs in Europe. He asks the question(s), “...or do we not have a completely different competition in the digital world? Isn’t it Netflix, competing for young people’s attention? At the core of all considerations is: How can we continue to ensure that we have a top team on the pitch?”