Created on 01-08-2014 at 00:40 AM
The FC Bayern stars are in the States on the Audi Summer Tour USA 2014and will spend nine days in New Jersey and Portland, but the club itself has established a permanent presence in North America with the official opening of its first overseas office in New York City on Thursday.
“I’m delighted and proud about what we’ve achieved,” commented Rudolf Vidal, Managing Director of American limited company Bayern Munich LLC, at the ceremonial opening of the Manhattan office. Vidal and his team are based on the 21st floor of a block on Lexington Avenue and will now work to raise awareness of the FC Bayern brand in North America. The office is located close to downtown sights including the Empire State Building, Broadway and Central Park.
“New York City is a special place and we’re a special club. This is the right city for us,” commented FCB board director for internationalisation Jörg Wacker. “Setting up in the States is the right decision. We face huge global competition and a sporting contest with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United. Coming here was a must. It’s a special and big day for us.”
The invited audience of around 120 included President of Audi America Scott Keogh, T-Mobile America CEO John Legere, and Dan Hunt, President of MLS club FC Dallas. Wacker was joined by fellow FCB board directors Andreas Jung and Matthias Sammer. Celebrity guests included Olympic gold medallist Maria Höfl-Riesch, German TV icon Thomas Gottschalk and US-based soccer commentator Gus Johnson, who joined Gottschalk as a witty and entertaining master of ceremonies.
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil unleashed an unprecedented wave of enthusiasm for football in the USA, with the final between Germany and Argentina attracting the nation’s biggest-ever TV audience for a single match. The presence of six current Bayern players in the World Cup-winning team has boosted the club’s profile in the States, but the potential for further growth remains enormous.
“I’m very taken with the level of passion here in the USA,” said Vidal: “We want to pick up on the enthusiasm generated by the World Cup and continue to strengthen the Bayern brand’s positioning in the USA.” The new office in the heart of Manhattan represents an important initial step.