Kahn, Jung & Haschke on FC Bayern's new overseas office
Following its branches in New York and Shanghai, FC Bayern is opening a third overseas office in Bangkok as of today. FC Bayern München AG CEO Oliver Kahn, FC Bayern board member for marketing Andreas Jung, and FC Bayern head of Southeast Asia Maximilian Haschke talk about a football-loving and economically strong region and new opportunities for the German record champions.
CEO Oliver Kahn on...
...the reasons for opening an overseas office in Bangkok:"Our new Southeast Asia office will give us the opportunity to reach the entire region of Southeast Asia from Bangkok, and also cover the India and Oceania markets. We've already had terrific experiences with our offices in New York and Shanghai, and Bangkok is the perfect location to take the next step. It's an important international hub in the region to reach as many people there as possible. We're at home in Munich and Bavaria, but as a global club we also want to inspire our supporters all over the world. Therefore, it's important to be present and to seek direct contact with our fans locally."
...the passion for football in Southeast Asia:"We played against the Thailand national team with FC Bayern in the summer of 2000, and I have fond memories of how enthusiastically we were welcomed back then. It was more than two decades ago, but we already had a very large following there at the time, which sparked a great euphoria beyond the game. In the years that followed, I also visited Southeast Asia frequently, among other things for the Deutsche Fußball Liga. You can sense how much people there are interested in our sport. I've always perceived the passion for German football and, of course, for FC Bayern in particular, as being very strong there. With our sporting success, our attractive style of play and also with our values, the club goes down very well with the people in Southeast Asia."
...sporting advantages of the new branch:"78 per cent of people in Thailand are interested in football, making it the absolute number one sport. We want to do our part to ensure this development continues and also to promote young players throughout Thailand and Southeast Asia."
Board member for marketing Andreas Jung on...
...FC Bayern's previous involvement in Southeast Asia and new opportunities: "Youth football is very important for us in the Southeast Asia region. In addition to the school programme 'FC Bayern 12 Level Course' in Thailand, we've organised the FC Bayern Youth Cup and the Allianz Junior Football Camp in various countries of Southeast Asia there and also launched the FC Bayern World Squad with players from Thailand and India. These activities were very successful, which is why we want to continue in this region in the long term. To that end, we have important regional partners in Viessmann, Wangkanai, Alva Lux Asia, 188bet, Capstone and Häfele,especially in Southeast Asia, with whom we regularly organise local events and with whom we can now work even more closely. But Bangkok is also an extremely interesting location for our global partners. Southeast Asia is not only a region where football is very popular, but it's also very important economically. If you include India, more than two billion people live there, a quarter of the world's population. By 2030, Southeast Asia will become the fourth largest economy after China, the USA and the European Union. Therefore, we were convinced of our decision to open an office here from the very beginning."
...the objective at the new office:"We see ourselves as the 'World's Biggest Sports Family'. This includes strengthening the relationship with our fans in the region and communicating values, but also creating a brand presence and further expanding the areas of sponsoring and merchandising. With a strong local presence, people will become even more interested in the FC Bayern brand - and that will then certainly also apply to local businesses. A significant concern for us in our commitment is the theme of giving back to society. We're convinced we'll be able to work very well with people and create terrific experiences together with them."
...the fan potential and planned projects:"There are about 160 million people in the region who are interested in FC Bayern. There are already more than 3,300 members organised in 39 fan clubs there, and when lots of people declare their support for FC Bayern, it shows we're certainly on the right track. Through various projects and campaigns, we'll now try to bring FC Bayern closer to even more people and win over more fans. Despite the great physical distance, we want to tie people to us emotionally. We have our ambassadors who will also come to these regions, plus there will be live broadcasts of top matches."
Head of Southeast Asia Maximilian Haschke on...
...football-crazy Bangkok and the FC Bayern Youth Cup in Thailand:"Thailand is a country with which FC Bayern has long had a strong relationship. There are eight Bayern fan clubs in Bangkok alone, and the FC Bayern Youth Cup is a great success story in this country. It's played across nine provinces and is the largest youth tournament in the country, with 12,000 children and young people taking part. The winning team goes to the World Final at the Allianz Arena, where a Thai team has already triumphed twice. In addition, in Thailand, FC Bayern has one of the biggest TV ratings globally - and it takes 100 per cent club loyalty to follow our games, sometimes in the middle of the night. From Bangkok, we'll seek and expand contact with our supporters throughout the region and are already looking forward to lots of experiences with the ever-growing fan community in Southeast Asia."
...the daily work in the Bangkok office:"We'll start here in Bangkok with five employees. This team will cover most of the business areas we have as a football club. You can think of it as an extended arm of Säbener Straße. We'll use existing partnerships to plan and organise exciting projects and events, including watch parties or visits by FC Bayern legends. To this end, we want to expand our network of sponsors and partners. Intensive interaction with our fans via our club media channels is also very important to us. We want to regionalise these even more, so we not only speak the language of our local fans there, but also attract new followers and future fans. And of course, we mustn't forget our core competence, which we can share with the people here. We want to support the individual countries in the region, the clubs and associations in further developing their own youth football and producing their own players in the future."