Eintracht Frankfurt will this year become the latest European soccer club to open an office in New York City, SportBusiness can reveal.
The Bundesliga club – which launched a Chinese subsidiary in Beijing earlier this year – will join the likes of FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Paris St-Germain and Ajax in establishing a regional base in the United States. The Manhattan office is expected to open by October.
Staff members will aim to grow the fanbase, develop commercial partnerships, learn best practices from US sports teams and leagues, and establish four or five more youth academies in the States following one established in Michigan. Frankfurt already has US-focused social media accounts, which will now be run from New York.
The club is also in conversation with two Major League Soccer teams about potential partnerships.
Club executives are currently in New York to help promote the documentary The Return of the Cup, which tells the story of Frankfurt’s unlikely victory over Bayern Munich in the 2018 German Cup final and was shown at this week’s ‘Kicking and Screening’ soccer film festival.
Frankfurt board member Axel Hellmann told SportBusiness: “New York is the best hub for us because it’s a financial capital, as well as Frankfurt, so they are closely linked. Philadelphia is also a partner city of Frankfurt, so there are many points we can go to on the East Coast.”
While in New York, Frankfurt executives will meet with Rudolf Vidal, who runs Bayern Munich’s Americas office, to learn more about how the club has been so successful in expanding its brand and fanbase in the region.
“Rudi encouraged me to open an office in New York,” Hellmann says. “We are not in competition with them in the US market, Bayern are at a different level to us: they are a global club and we are a European brand.”
Frankfurt regularly participates in the Florida Cup, a friendly tournament which takes place during the Bundesliga winter break during January. The club also took part in a two-match summer tour of the US in 2018 against MLS teams Real Salt Lake and the Philadelphia Union.
“We will really expand our expand our activities in the US when we open the office,” Hellmann says.