Bayern Munich has played two games on its latest U.S. tour, drawing crowds of 53,629 in Charlotte and 44,826 in Chicago, and should attract another big crowd when it closes out its International
Champions Cup schedule with a match Wednesday against Real Madrid at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. International Champions
Cup Crowds: 105,826
Real Madrid-Chelsea (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Paris St. Germain-Real Madrid (Columbus, Ohio) 53,629
Milan (Charlotte, N.C.) 53,117
Chelsea-Liverpool (Pasadena, Calif.) 44,826
Bayern Munich-AC Milan (Chicago) 30,758
Liverpool-AC Milan (Santa Clara, Calif.)
Paris SG-Leicester City (Carson, Calif.) 24,147
Paris St. Germain-Inter Milan (Eugene, Ore.)
Bayern has aggressively promoted itself in the United States,
opening its first overseas offices in New York in 2014. What's next for the German giants?
Bayern Munich is considering teaming up with a Major League Soccer franchise to support soccer's
growth in the U.S., club chairman and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
"Maybe we have to think about how we can partner with U.S. teams from the MLS, to support them and show them
how business is run in Germany and at Bayern," Bayern club chairman and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Sports Business Daily Global
during Bayern's visit to Charlotte.
who has benn traveling to the United States for more than a quarter of a century, first as a representative of adidas, added that Bayern, which will add a second office in Shanghai, was also thinking
partnering with teams in the United States and China "because what they don’t have so much is the know-how. In this area, a club like ours is strong.”
Clubs have been
partnering with youth clubs for years. In the last decade, clubs have had partnerships or ownership arrangements: Chivas de Guadalajara (Chivas USA), Manchester City (New York City FC) and Rayo OKC
(Rayo Vallecano). MLS folded Chivas USA after a decade in the league. NYCFC and Rayo OKC are in their infancy, so the long-term value of these arrangements remains to be seen.
Europe, have to be interested in helping U.S. soccer grow up," Rummenigge also told SBD Global. "Maybe sometimes we have to do more in their favor. There could be an exchange of talent or coaches. We
have to have an interest in U.S. soccer to help them and not just come here to cash in."
Just what is Europe's interest in helping U.S. soccer grow up? When and by what definition will
U.S. soccer grow up? Why does Rummenigge feel Europe has, as SBD Global reported, "an obligation to help" U.S. soccer?
The motives of European clubs in helping U.S. soccer or exploiting
it have always been suspicious. But we shall at least give Rummenigge credit for softening his remarks, saying Bayern's goal should be helping U.S. soccer and not just making a pile of money.