FC Bayern Munich may have lost their Champions League semi-final match to Real Madrid last week, but off the pitch, they won in their initiative to grow their fanbase in a non-traditional market. In 2014, FC Bayern opened an office in New York City with a focus on growing their fanbase in the United States. As a part of that initiative, FC Bayern teamed up with Bleacher Report to throw a Champions League watch party at Bleacher Report’s new office in New York City.
This event was beneficial for both parties, as both share a common goal of growing the sport of soccer within the United States. Bleacher Report has seen success with their BR Football Twitter account overseas, but recently is pivoting to grow their soccer following in the United States on their main Bleacher Report account. Bleacher Report is also planning to build soccer content for use of their extremely popular House of Highlights channel, which has over 9 million followers.
Don’t expect this as a one-off event, though. Bleacher Report is also beginning to focus on using their office space, which is less than a year old, into more experiential marketing events. They have recently hired an experiential team to focus on coordinating experiences around mega-events such as the Champion League and the Super Bowl.
On top of that, Bleacher Report’s parent company Turner Sports has purchased the rights to the UEFA Champions League next season. Expect more watch parties in the future, whether it be for FC Bayern Munich or another team who shares a similar goal of growing their fan base in the United States.