BERLIN: German champions Bayern Munich announced on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) they have opened a new office in Shanghai, China — their second overseas bureau.
Having opened a New York office in 2014 to expand in the US, Bayern want to widen their Far East fan base and the Shanghai bureau has been active since September 2016.
Club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern’s international director Joerg Wacker, plus former players Giovane Elber and Bixente Lizarazu attended Wednesday’s inauguration ceremony in Shanghai.
“We have always had wonderful experiences in China and felt the prestige of our club here,” Rummenigge told 120 invited guests from politics, business and the media.
One of the Shanghai bureau’s main tasks will be to organise Bayern’s tour of China at the end of this season.
From July 19-27, Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern will play friendlies against English Premier League sides Arsenal and Chelsea, as well as Serie A clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Bayern, who face Real Madrid in next month’s Champions League’s quarter-finals, are currently 13 points clear in Germany’s top flight and on course for a fifth straight Bundesliga title.
The Bavarian giants are not the only Bundesliga club looking to expand in China as Wolfsburg also announced the opening of their new office in Beijing on Wednesday.
The 2009 Bundesliga champions held an opening ceremony attended by former player Zvjezdan Misimovic and German Football League (DFL) ambassador, New Zealand’s Wynton Rufer.
Germany’s top clubs have been intensifying relations with China in recent years.
Bayern and Borussia Dortmund have representatives in Shanghai, while Hamburg and Cologne have co-operation agreements with Chinese Super League teams.