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SBD Global/February 13, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Bundesliga Increases International Revenue To $97M, Closes Gap With Europe's Top Leagues

The Bundesliga launched a Japanese website on Jan. 27. The league offers now websites in four different languages: German, English, Polish and Japanese.
The Bundesliga has made a push into new markets over the past several years in order to increase its int'l revenue and close the gap with other European football leagues. So far, the league has focused its efforts on Eastern Europe and Asia. The German Football League (DFL), the commercial arm of the Bundesliga, generated €72M in int'l revenue during the ’11-12 season. Despite a steady growth, the Bundesliga is still far behind other European top leagues in the int'l revenue department. The Bundesliga ranked fourth behind Serie A (€90M), La Liga (€180M) and the Premier League (€500). DFL Head of Business & Specialist Media Dirk Meyer-Bosse explained the EPL’s top position through its decades-long advantage. Meyer-Bosse said, "The English Premier League has a 20-year advantage in that area. The Premier League has simply very early on focused on international marketing and thereby created an edge, which is very difficult to catch up with." To close the gap to the leading leagues and increase the Bundesliga’s level of awareness beyond the borders of Germany, the DFL has opened a foreign office in Singapore and launched language-specific websites during the last year. Meyer-Bosse said, "The Asian-Pacific representation, which is headed by Peter Leible, aims at further establishing the Bundesliga brand in the Asian region." He added: "After six months on the ground in Singapore, the preliminary results are very positive." In addition, the DFL has launched two language-specific websites for Poland and Japan, which have their own independent editorial teams and try to cater to the interests of the Polish and Japanese Bundesliga fans. Meyer-Bosse said, "The reason we decided on those two markets, Poland and Japan, is the fact that those two countries have a very high interest in the Bundesliga. The goal is to increase the league’s worldwide awareness and, maybe even more important, inform and introduce fans in the respective countries more closely to our product." Another aspect of such geographically targeted measurements is the acquisition of licensing partners in the respective areas. The Bundesliga may have missed the start in the fight for int'l revenue, but is trying to reduce its deficit through strategically targeted measurements. The success proves that the league is on the right track, within the last seven years the Bundesliga has managed to increase its int'l revenue from €12M to €72M.
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