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The big questions for 2021: Part 4

Jung: 'Sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive’

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2020 has been a challenging year for FC Bayern with the coronavirus pandemic, but the club has overcome everything to win the second treble in its history. It means the bar for the coming months is high. Going into 2021, leading figures at Germany’s record champions spoke to club magazine “51” about what’s to come. In the fourth of seven parts, we sat down with the club’s marketing director Andreas Jung.

Interview with Andreas Jung

Corporate sponsorship budgets are more likely to shrink than grow in 2021. Is that also being felt at FC Bayern? If not, why?
Jung:
“Sport has been greatly reduced by this pandemic in 2020, and we will have to deal with a similar scenario for some time to come in 2021. Without spectators, the great emotions that make up sport are missing. It hurts my own heart personally as a sportsperson as well. From the point of view of someone in charge of marketing, I’d say advertising expenditure is often put to the test at companies in a crisis. However, coronavirus has confirmed to us at FC Bayern how well we’ve been positioned with our sponsorship philosophy for a long time. In 2020, despite the crisis, we’ve implemented many creative campaigns with our partners and even brought in new partners. Overall, it’s shown the crisis-proof, loyal relationships that exist between FC Bayern and its partners, which help to make our sporting success possible. I again feel reassured that with a strong community you can achieve your goals even in difficult times.”

Last year, FC Bayern started its sustainability campaign “The Mission”. How will that project continue in 2021?
“For this project, we brought together young talent from all over the world to actively promote sustainable solutions with FC Bayern and its partners. We were able to further develop many exciting topics and generally benefit immensely from the innovative approaches to ideas that we worked out together. It’s already generated a lot of added value. We’ve remained in contact with some of the participants from “The Mission” beyond the project in order to explore possibilities for further cooperation. Sustainability is a topic that is very close to FC Bayern’s heart.”

Is sustainability a luxury for financially carefree times, or will companies with a clear sustainability strategy ultimately come through the crisis even better?
“Sustainability means taking responsibility. It’s not a luxury you can only afford in good times but is part of a sensible entrepreneurial self-understanding. As a brand we have huge appeal, as a club we serve as a role model for millions of fans, and as an employer we are committed to our employees and stakeholders, something we do gladly and with conviction. It’s a responsibility we actively assume. For FC Bayern, it’s nothing more than a matter of course. That’s why we’re currently writing a sustainability strategy for the whole club, for all business areas, sports and properties. With this strategy, we want to fulfil our responsibility in the best possible way and for a long time to come. We won’t be perfect from day one, but we want to set out on this path with clear goals. Sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, FC Bayern has stood for sustainable management for decades like hardly any other club in the world.”

In the third part of our “Big questions” series, we spoke to vice-chairman and finance director Jan-Christian Dreesen:

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