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Volume 23 No. 17
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Bundesliga opens NYC office

The Bundesliga will open a New York City office this week, the latest European soccer entity to reach across the Atlantic. It will be the second international office for Germany’s top league, which previously opened a Singapore office in 2012.

Robert Klein, CEO of Bundesliga International, the league’s subsidiary responsible for international sales and marketing, said the league has been working on opening a U.S.-based office for more than a year, providing closer access to its partners, its U.S. broadcaster Fox Sports and fans.

Bundesliga club Bayern Munich was one of the first European clubs to have a full-time office and staff in the U.S. when it opened its doors in June 2014. While Bayern has grown in the U.S. thanks to its social media reach and presence in events like the International Champions Cup, no other Bundesliga clubs have made the physical leap into the U.S., something Klein wants the office to help facilitate.

“Bayern has done a great job with its event presence and what it has done with digital and social media, but we need to bring more than just Bayern, we need to bring the other clubs,” Klein said. “Those clubs have an understanding that internationalization is important, and we want to serve as a catalyst to that goal.”

The Bundesliga U.S. office, which will be located on Park Avenue in the Union Square neighborhood, is expected to have five or six employees to start, with additional space and desks available to representatives of any of the league’s clubs. Klein said more than 20 clubs will have executives at the office opening this week.

The office will be led by Arne Rees, who previously served as ESPN’s general manager of international digital business, who has been hired as executive vice president of strategy, and Melanie Fitzgerald, who had been director of international media at MLS, and who will be head of Bundesliga Americas. Additional hires will be made following its opening.