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SBD Global/December 11, 2013/Franchises

Bayern Munich Details Its Success, Plans For Global Expansion

Bayern Munich Chair Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is "explaining some finer detail in the story of how they reached where they are today," according to David Conn of the London GUARDIAN's Talking Sport blog. It is "a tale of relentless progression by a member-owned club, masterminded by the former players" Rummenigge, Franz Beckenbauer and, since '79, club President Uli Hoeneß. The story is "fundamentally different from the clubs-for-sale, eyewatering ticket prices, sheikh- and oligarch-funded spectacle of the Premier League." More than 16,000 fans can "stand and watch football of this highest quality" for Bundesliga season tickets costing €150 ($206). It is "a badge of pride" for Hoeness and Rummenigge to "offer such seriously affordable prices, while still harvesting from multiple sponsorships, TV income and corporate tickets" which netted €433M ($596M) in income in '12-13, a "galaxy above any other Bundesliga club, enabling Bayern to compete with Europe's elite." Rummenigge: "We have to care about a football club's social responsibility. We have expensive tickets, in the lounge and business areas, and thanks to those we can still sell standing tickets at around €7.50 ($10.30) per match, cheaper than it costs to go to the cinema in Munich. A poor guy, maybe without work, we want him to be able to go and watch football. That is our obligation." At Bayern the members, now numbering 225,000, still own 82% of the club and vote every three years for the senior advisory board directors, including Hoeneß. Bayern sold the other 18%, in '02 and '09, to German companies adidas and Audi, in return for €165M. There are "no plans to sell further stakes, Rummenigge says, despite offers, which they have turned down." Bayern is "determined to expand" into int'l sponsorships, merchandise and overseas playing tours, as Premier League clubs have done for years while German clubs and coaches have traditionally resisted. Rummenigge: "We have to follow these big English teams." New Int'l Dir Jörg Wacker "has been appointed" and Bayern plans to "open an office in New York within weeks, then one in China'' (GUARDIAN, 12/9).

LOOKING AT THE STARS: Rummenigge confirmed that his team "will be the international opponent in the 2014 Major League Soccer All-Star Game." The defending UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal (German Cup) champion "will be the first German club to play in the annual MLS showcase" (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 12/10).
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