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Seeking to Leverage U.S. Soccer Boom, Bayern Munich Opens New York City Office

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The Bavarian soccer powerhouse hopes its New York office will help it win more U.S. fans.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    International soccer clubs are increasingly expanding into the United States in an effort to profit from the sport’s growing popularity there.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • According to TV statistics, 29 percent more Americans watched the World Cup games in Brazil than the 2010 matches in South Africa.
    • Bayern Munich hopes to land lucrative U.S. sponsorship deals such as the ones accomplished by FC Liverpool.
    • The German team may establish a presence in Asia next year.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

The night was ending but the Hogs and Heifers bar in New York City remained hopping. Scantily-clad waitresses climbed on the bars, danced, and shouted via megaphone. Amid the bustle at the popular nightspot stood Juan Bernat, a top Spanish player newly acquired by the Munich-based soccer club FC Bayern. Together with friends and colleagues from the team, he and the Bavarians danced with enthusiasm.

FC Bayern Munich was having a blast in New York, enjoying not just the nightlife; the club has opened an office at an expensive Lexington Avenue address. The team and a jet full of assistants, managers and journalists had arrived a few days before. TV star Thomas Gottschalk helped open the office Thursday. After that, the Bavarian squad traveled to the West Coast to play U.S. soccer league teams.

Such tours by elite soccer clubs such as Manchester United and Real Madrid aren’t unusual. But few have taken steps such as FC Bayern Munich. Only FC Liverpool and AS Rome, which both have American investors, keep permanent U.S. offices in Boston. “Deep-pocketed Bayern Munich is open for business in U.S,” the New York Times headline said.

When Franz Beckenbauer joined the New York Cosmos in 1977, some observers said soccer was on the brink of a breakthrough in a country where baseball and football dominated. Such predictions were premature.

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