Created on 2015-02-03 at 16:00 PM
In 2013, FC Bayern Munich found a home in the Windy City at Chicago Supporters of FC Bayern Munich. Since then, the fan club has grown to 150 registered members.
In the fourth installment of the fan club profiles, Chicago Supporters founder Tyler Faivre discusses his experiences in becoming an FC Bayern fan and official fan club founder. To learn more about the Chicago Supporters of FC Bayern Munich, visit it on social media and at its home pub Cleos Chicago.
How did you become an FC Bayern fan and what made you start a fan club?
I was following Germany during the Euro 2008, and at the time, my favorite players on the national team were all Bayern players; it seemed natural that I start following Bayern. I quickly fell in love with the team, the players, the tradition and the community, and it’s since become a major part of my life.
After moving to Chicago in 2012 and searching for an existing fan club in the Chicagoland area, I went to a bar downtown for the 2012 Champions League Final and discovered it was filled with dozens and dozens of Bayern fans. It motivated me to unite Bayern fans throughout Chicago, give them a place to watch the games and come together as a community. After some advice and help from the head of the local HSV fan club, we launched the Chicago Supporters of FC Bayern Munich in March of 2013.
What is your favorite part about being involved with a fan club?
My absolute favorite thing is when I hear people tell me “I can’t believe there’s a Bayern fan club in Chicago! I’ve been looking all over for something like this!”. As someone who spent many years alone streaming games early in the morning, I know how exciting it is to finally be able to watch games in a bar with fellow fans. All of the members of our fan club have been truly amazing, as have the offices in New York and Munich in helping us get established. We’re proud to be an official fan club of FC Bayern Munich!
How would you describe the fan club’s growth?
We have a nearly 3,000 fans on Facebook, about a third of the 8,000 or so fans we estimate live in the Chicagoland area. In addition to that, we have about 150 registered members and a few dozen regulars that show up every week at the bar. Our fan club is pretty diverse – we have a handful of expats, and some Americans, like myself, that have spent some time living in Germany, but most of our fans are grassroots fans these days. Bayern’s presence is continuing to gain traction in the US, and we’re seeing fans join our club who have never been to Germany, nor do they speak a word of German. They fall in love with the team, and what the team represents.
Do you have a favorite moment with your fan club?
Hands down the 2013 Champions League Final was the greatest day as a Bayern fan. We packed over 150 Bayern fans into Cleo’s, and there was a sea of red as far as the eye could see. We sang songs, chants, cheered and cried. It was such an emotional year for Bayern and for the fans as well. To have a showing that big was a huge achievement for us, and we’re happy that we got to celebrate it with the greatest fans of the greatest club in the world!
Contact the Chicago Supporters of FC Bayern Munich:
Home pub: Cleos, 1935 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
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.