Handelsblatt: Mr. Seifert, the Bavarian soccer team just completed a tour of the United States, and the Leverkusen club spent some time in South Korea. All this travelling and time abroad seems like an enormous effort and expense, especially for the players. Why all the hassle?
Christian Seifert: Today, football is part of the international entertainment industry. You shouldn’t set national limits and confine yourself to only operating within your own country.
What is the added value for Bayern Munich to play in Portland?
In the medium and long-term, playing outside your own country will reap returns. We are building international brands in this way. Germany’s top soccer division, the Bundesliga, is far behind in that respect.
What do you mean?
Adidas just signed a kit supplier contract with the English club Manchester United for €90 million ($120 million). Puma pays Arsenal €30 million every year. These sums come not just from the popularity that these clubs have in their home country but also from their international reputation. Firms such as Adidas can tap into markets that an international name like Manchester United opens.