'The Bundesliga will profit'
Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore: FC Bayern can look back on an exciting time on tour. Jörg Wacker, director of internationalisation and strategy, drew a positive conclusion towards the end of the Audi Summer Tour 2017. "We've visited three cities and had two sold-out matches," Wacker commented. FC Bayern have achieved their goal of becoming more popular in Asia. "We've stepped up our game and set new benchmarks. My conclusion: we've earned top marks!"
The executive board member thanked "Carlo and his team, they did a superb job. The way they presented themselves was excellent. But a number of other people did a superb job too: the security service, all the club's sections, the staff of FC Bayern's Shanghai office, the legends who've joined us to relieve the players: it's worked out brilliantly."
Wacker also thanked FC Bayern's partners and sponsors: "You can tell we as a global player have partners with whom we're able to organise a number of good things." Wacker thanked Audi in particular, the presenting partner for the tour. Wacker also thanked the club's executive committee with Uli Hoeneß and senior vice-president Prof Dr Dieter Mayer: "They've been our leaders. It was an important statement." And of course Wacker thanked Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: "You're among those who had the most appointments. We're grateful you're our CEO."
'No other sport is as global'
Rummenigge again pointed out the tour's significance: "There are two focus markets from a German point of view. It's not a coincidence that Dortmund and Schalke have also visited Asia. I see it as a kind of solidarity towards the Bundesliga. The Bundesliga's big clubs have to lead the league, to help and support the DFL in terms of TV marketing. I like it. Thanks to FC Bayern and Borussia Dortmund's initiatives there's some activity in the field. The Bundesliga on tour: that would have been inconceivable five or ten years ago. I'm convinced the Bundesliga will profit from it at the end of the day."
"The development clearly shows what's happened over the last few years," added Wacker: "We started with nine fan clubs in the US, three years later there are more than 120. We had 90 million fans in China, now there are 120 million. You can tell football is becoming a more and more global sport, no other sport is as global. You just have to be part of it today."
FCB Football School a key project
In particular, the FC Bayern Football School in Shenzhen is a sustainable and impressive project for the city, which was a "fishing village 30 years ago. Today 20 million people live there! From a future strategic point of view it's probably one of the most important cities in the world," according to Wacker. Singapore too is crucial as the "gateway to the rest of Asia."
The fans were at the centre of the club's efforts. "Yesterday I attended the fan club tournament with eleven fan clubs from nine different countries," said Wacker. "We've taken a stance, and we sit down with the fans on a regular basis." The matches reflect this: two of the three matches were sold out, the average attendance was 42,000. And the fans' enthusiasm has demonstrated FC Bayern were *visiting friends*on the Audi Summer Tour 2017!