German champion Bayern Munich will tap into a growing demand for its brand in Asia with a tour of China in July as the Bundesliga looks to accelerate growth in the world’s most populated continent.
Bayern, which last year opened an office in the United States eyeing the American market, is Germany’s richest club.
“It is clear, just like we did last year in the United States, we will do a tour of China in the second half of July,” Bayern executive board member, responsible for internationalisation and strategy, Joerg Wacker told Bild newspaper.
“We will most likely play matches in Beijing and Shanghai. There are more than 170 million football fans in China, almost 90 million Bayern sympathizers. Football will soon be a school subject there. So we see a huge potential there.”
Bayern is not the only German team to cast its eye on Asia with Borussia Dortmund opening an office in Singapore, assisted in its expansion by sponsor Puma and the sportswear maker’s own global network.
Several big name German clubs, including Bayern, Hamburger SV and Schalke 04, have also moved their winter training camps from sunny Spain, Portugal or Turkey to Asia and the Gulf states of Qatar and Dubai in recent seasons.
Bayern has also played friendly matches in India and Saudi Arabia in recent years.
For both Bayern and Dortmund, the only German team listed on the stock exchange, creating new ways of making money is key to continuing their growth.
Both Bayern’s and Dortmund’s home games are always sold out and sponsors, such as adidas, Audi, Puma and Evonik have bought stakes in them.
But to tap into the seemingly insatiable appetite of fans for the Bundesliga, which recorded a 10th consecutive year of growth, and in turn create new streams of revenue, they have to expand and look beyond the borders of Germany.
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said last year it made sense using sponsors’ network to trigger this expansion.
Original title by Shanghai Daily.com:Bundesliga Asia push sees Bayern in China