In a previous article we highlighted how the Bundesliga is trying to win the attention in the global market.
Fast forward to the opening few weeks of the 2015/16 season, Dortmund are now looking back to a successful pre-season tour to Asia, which saw the Black and Yellows visit Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.
Their friendly match against local team Kawasaki Frontale, which was sold out within 48 hours underlined how the Bundesliga club cemented their place in the Japanese market, and is partly due to their Japanese star Shinji Kagawa.
Bayern Munich meanwhile travelled to China and visited Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to further grow the audience and pay back to their fans in China. However, FC Bayern went one step further by launching a Chinese version of their website http://www.fcbayern.cn/ together with a Chinese mobile app. These add two important digital components that are designed to cater for the Asian market and will allow fans to take part in the daily life of their favourite team.
In response to the ever growing and lucrative Asian market, the club have installed a department to translate the news and produce their own content aimed at the interest of the Chinese market, including a Chinese show on fcb.tv.
Joerg Wacker who is in charge of Globalisation and Strategy at FC Bayern confirmed that during the China tour the club decided to open another international office later in the year which will be based in Shanghai.
Additional to this, Germany’s national football league (DFL) have launched their own app for smartphones and tablets for the new season that kicked off two weeks ago. The app will be available in a German and an international version with commentaries in English and other languages.
Christian Seifert, DFL’s managing director highlights “Digitalisation provides Bundesliga with additional opportunities to communicate even better with fans in Germany and around to the globe”
The app currently offers news, live scores and live statistics to support the TV experience for the 36 Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs as well as a video feature that is updated daily with exclusive content, matchday highlights and interviews. There is also an integrated social media feature that allows fans to participate in interactive campaigns.
It is good to see that the Bundesliga and its teams are making progress in ensuring that they do not lose sight of Premier League’s global dominance. But the gap is big and it will take efforts of all clubs to keep up.
André is a German Account Manager at WePlay. He has previous experience working in brand and digital marketing for a Premier League Football club as well as major sports brands like Nike and Puma.