Bayern Munich are coming to America for the MLS All-Star Game this summer, but they're not just passing through.
The reigning German and European champions are set to open a permanent office in New York City this spring, the club announced on Tuesday, their first such overseas branch. Bayern seek to build their presence in North America as part of what the business-savvy club calls an “internationalization drive.”
Former Bayern reserve goalkeeper and dual German-American citizen Rudolf Vidal will lead a three-person staff at the Manhattan office, which will be focused on growing the Bavarian club's brand and crafting new partnerships.
Born in Colorado, Vidal has a background in commercial law and sports marketing, and previously worked for companies like Deutsche Telekom and Puma.
“I’m delighted to be taking on this substantial and exciting assignment on behalf of FC Bayern,“ he said in a statement. “We want to help in consolidating and continuing to develop the club’s international reputation.”
Arguably the best team in the world at the moment, Bayern are riding high both on the field and on the balance sheets.
But club executives make no secret of their desire to reach out to new fans in the United States, Canada and around the world, challenging other globally-minded “superclubs” like Manchester United, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid in the process.
Bayern's NYC office is scheduled to open on April 1. Manager Pep Guardiola's star-studded squad will visit the States in July and August, facing the MLS All-Stars at Providence Park in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 6 and meeting other opponents in as-yet-unconfirmed exhibition matches.