Created on 2014-12-17 at 09:00 AM
New York City. ‘The Big Apple’. ‘The Concrete Jungle’. ‘The City That Never Sleeps’. And since 2012, home to the FC Bayern Fan Club New York City.
In the second installment of the fan club profiles, FC Bayern fan and New York City fan club founder Matthias Schmitt discusses his experiences from growing up as a fan in Germany to everything the New York City Fan Club has to offer. To learn more about the FC Bayern Munich Fan Club New York City, visit it on social media and at its home pub in Midtown Manhattan.
How did you become an FC Bayern fan and what made you start a fan club?
I have been a Bayern Fan since I was a child growing up in southern Germany and the times of Breitner and Rummenigge, two of my favorite childhood soccer players. Plus, Bayern used to be sponsored by Magirus Deutz, who produced fire trucks, which was another big reason because I wanted to be a firefighter growing up. In terms of starting a fan club, I wanted to bring some of that special ‘Vereins’ (club) spirit and culture to New York. I wanted to bring Bayern fans together to watch games, talk Bayern and German soccer, and be one of the many pioneering fan clubs to expand the Bayern name in the United States and its growing soccer culture. The reaction has been great, and the support from the fan club support people in Munich and the FC Bayern office in New York has been absolutely outstanding – we are very grateful for the great working relationship we have with them.
Tell us about the community aspect of the fan club.
We’re very active outside of match viewings. We use social media regularly to stay in touch with members and reach out to new potential members as well. As a matter of fact, one of our own members has designed a popular member-focused photo series on our Facebook page. We also hold regular events like our bi-weekly Stammtisch all around New York at German pubs that attracts new fans. The Bayern visit to the U.S. and friendly in New York was a big billboard moment for us and all members have contributed wonderfully. In addition, we hold regular Stammtisch meetings, play soccer together for recreation or in tournaments, watch local soccer live, and we’d like to find a charitable cause to throw our weight behind to give back to the community.
What is your favorite moment with the fan club?
The 2013 Champions League Final was a watershed moment for us in terms of growth after a disappointing season in 2012 and we must have celebrated for a whole week. The other favorite moment was Bayern’s visit to New York for the Audi Tour 2014. We followed them around for three days straight starting with the team’s arrival at the airport, the Legends game in Brooklyn, then the game at Red Bull Arena against Chivas, which we watched with all the great visiting Bayern fan clubs from around the country, and finally the autograph sessions in Manhattan and Paul Breitner visiting the fan club as the crowning end. Three fantastic days we will not forget, ever.
Contact FC Bayern Munich Fan Club New York City:
Home Pub: Smithfield Hall, 138 W 25th St, New York, NY
Start your own fan club
Want to start your very own official FC Bayern Fan Club? Check out the benefits of being a fan club member and how to get started here.