Bayern Munich are looking to follow clubs such as Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Liverpool in becoming a world brand. The German club are keen to attract foreign fans to the club and the Bundesliga by going on lucrative tours to Asia and North America like the Premier League.
Bayern are seeking huge commercial opportunities in USA and China and are setting up offices in both countries in the coming months. Bayern’s chairman, Karl Heinze Rumenigge, told the Guardian that Bayern are looking to follow the Premier League’s lead:
“The English clubs are doing a fantastic job internationally and we have to follow. Then, when we start this initiative, the other Bundesliga clubs have to follow the example of Bayern.”
The Bundesliga is lagging behind the Premier League, particularly in international TV deals. The Bundesliga currently is priced at £70m compared to £2.3bn for the Premier League. Rumenigge believes Bayern need to be the driving force behind promoting the Bundesliga outside of Europe:
“You see the Bundesliga, and Bayern Munich as the locomotive of the Bundesliga, has to do much more.”
Victory in this weekend’s Club World Cup final would help Bayern raise their profile. They face Moroccan champions, Raja Casablanca in the final after beating Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande in the Semi-Finals.
It is the first time a German side has competed in the Club World Cup in its current state, Bayern and Dortmund have previously competed in the Intercontinental Championship in 1997 and 2001, when they beat Cruzeiro and Boca Juniors in their finals respectively. Coach Pep Guardiola, is seeking to win his third Club World Cup title after winning it with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011.
“This tournament is very important, very prestigious. It’s not easy to qualify for it, nor to win it.”
For Bayern to take on the world, Pep Guardiola is exactly the right man at the helm. The orchestrator of possibly the best team the World has ever seen at Barcelona, he has a chance to mold Bayern into a force even more powerful than his previous club.
Adding the Club World Cup to Bayern trophy cabinet would only elevate the club into a higher standing in world football than it already is. The Club World Cup may be looked down on in Europe, but it is seen as a top competition in the rest of the world. Finally, Franck Ribery’s nomination for the Ballon d’Or will only aid Bayern’s aim for world domination. The Asian market in particular is only interested in the best players rather than the best teams.
Real Madrid and Manchester United are massive clubs in Asia because of Cristiano Ronaldo and other star names. If Bayern are to be viewed in the same light as these clubs in Asia, Ribery will surely be the center of their attention. A positive end to the Champions League season and a major impact in the World Cup for France, and Ribery could be standing with Bayern on the same pedestal as Lionel Messi with Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo with Real Madrid.