‘Respect has grown continually’
Andreas Jung has been a member of the FCB management for almost 25 years. In this interview, the executive board member talks about the secret of long-term partnerships and explains why FC Bayern are now a special part of the Champions League draw. The full interview (in German) can be read in our members magazine '51'.
Andreas Jung, you've been a decision-maker at FC Bayern since 1996 and yet little is known about you in public. Do you prefer to be in the background?
"Basically, FC Bayern are a sports club where it's all about emotions and they are roused by the athletes – they are the most important people. If everyone does their job at FC Bayern and cooperation behind the scenes is working like clockwork, that's perfection for me. And then it doesn't matter to me whether someone is playing their part in public or in the background."
You started working in the field of sponsorship, merchandising and licensing. Back then the department had three employees. Can you explain how it's all developed?
"Back then Uli Hoeneß was in the driving seat: 'We are not going to leave our marketing to outside agencies any more, we can do it ourselves!' That showed the way ahead. Our philosophy, that still marks us out today and which has been picked up by other top clubs, is that we turn our attention to every partner exclusively and focus on their interests. That makes the connection more emotional, authentic and intensive. That all leads to our partnerships generally being very long-term."
How much has coronavirus affected the situation?
"Particularly now, it's important to make more of contacts than before. You have to stay in touch with each other as it's always in the interest of a partnership to develop and grow together. Coronavirus represents a mammoth challenge that we can only resolve at FC Bayern in partnership with all departments. We've dealt with the pandemic well up to now and we're learning how to pool and use our resources better. Our partners sense that. Nevertheless, we are obviously all hoping the situation will return to normal as soon as possible. There's no point arguing but rather it's our job to deal with the situation and develop creativity. We look to the right, we look to the left. We'll find ways out of the crisis."
The buzzword of sustainability is becoming more and more important. How much are FC Bayern focusing on that subject?
"We've been working on a sustainability strategy for a long time. That includes working with students from all over the world on 'The Mission' project to bring together ideas of how we can turn the Allianz Arena into a beacon. Ideally, the whole thing should be carried over to our club facilities at Säbener Straße, the FC Bayern Campus, the Audi Dome and later SAP Garden. We want to be a role model in sustainability too. It's a worldwide issue that we definitely want to raise awareness of."
You represent FC Bayern at Champions League draws. Due to the coronavirus, these events are now held virtually. But what else happens behind the scenes?
"In recent years, you've been able to see that respect for FC Bayern has continually grown. The name FC Bayern has always had a good ring but now it's changed again. The others have registered how this club has developed – and from a footballing point of view I basically continue to hear from every potential opponent: 'Now we have to play against you - hopefully in the final!'"
What's the funniest thing to happen to you in that respect?
"Curiously, one story keeps repeating since I've been involved: There is always a rehearsal of the draw in the morning – and we've never ended up playing against the team we drew in the rehearsal. Now I find out about the dry run beforehand and then the UEFA people always say: "You definitely won't play this or that team because the rehearsals are never reality for you." The word's got around and now we're almost special."
(Photos: Fritz Beck)
The full interview, a story about Robert Lewandowski and more is available in German in the current edition of our club magazine '51' (November 2020)