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Courtesy of Ribéry, Toni & Co

Unprecedented boom sweeps Bayern

Some 3,000 fans turned up to watch first-team training on Wednesday, itself a manageable number compared to the record 6,000 who besieged the Säbener Strasse last Tuesday. Even on the squad’s day off, several hundred supporters made their way to club headquarters. One Munich sightseeing tour now includes the FCB facility as a matter of routine, halting its coach at the entrance to Säbener Straße number 51. All in all, the summer of 2007 represents probably the biggest boom in Bayern’s 107-year history.

“The fans are identifying more closely than ever before with this team and our club,“ Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told, putting the enthusiasm down to star signings such as Franck Ribéry, Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose, and the club’s fine start to the campaign. Rummenigge is naturally also delighted by a substantial increase in turnover at the club shop. “Our merchandising turnover has soared, there’s unbelievable momentum there at the moment,” the chairman observed.

Home jersey selling well

The trend was confirmed in an interview given by Uli Hoeneß to the club’s official matchday magazine. Merchandising sales increased by 91.4 percent in July compared to the same month a year ago, the general manager reported. “On the day of the Franz Beckenbauer Cup against Barcelona, we saw turnover of more than €250,000 on fan items, twice as much as we would make normally, even on very good day.“

“We’re experiencing a boom,” Head of Merchandising and Licensed products Kürsad Bostan informed “It’s driven by our great games and the new players.” The most in-demand item is the club’s new home replica shirt. “It’s going very, very well,“ Bostan reported. Sales really took off after the opening Bundesliga matches, with shirts bearing the names Ribéry, Toni and Klose leading the way.

‘Huge demand’ for tickets

“In fact, the boom extends to the entire club,” Hoeneß observed, “we’ve sold all 2,000 Business Seats, something we didn’t achieve last season even when we were in the Champions League.“

Perhaps the busiest of all the club’s departments is the ticketing section. “Demand has been exceptional ever since we moved to the Allianz Arena. But our fantastic new team has driven demand even higher,“ Head of Ticketing Manfred Angermeyer commented.

New members

In terms of season tickets, the club experienced “our biggest boom ever.” The trend had continued into the area of individual match tickets: “We’ll soon be putting up the sold out signs on every game until Christmas, earlier than ever before,” Angermeyer informed

The membership section is reporting a similar phenomenon. “We’ve had a huge number of new applications since the start of the Bundesliga programme,” Angermeyer reported in his dual role as head of membership. Some 9,500 new members were incorporated as of the latest cut-off point (1 July), meaning the club currently boasts some 132,000 paid-up members.

Exceptional start to season

Thousands of fans will watch the players train over the next few weeks - and in stark contrast to AC Milan or Real Madrid, they will not find the gates slammed in their faces. “Bayern is the only leading club in Europe to allow this,” Hoeneß reported. Bayern are thriving both on and off the field this season. Concluded Rummenigge: “Everything’s going well at the present time.“