New Business: Startup Engine Professional Football


New Business as an Individual Unit 

In 2014, Bayern Munich was the first Bundesliga club to create a management directorate for internationalization and strategy, as well as setting up an office in New York to drive the expansion of its core business of football internationally. Borussia Dortmund followed with an outpost in Singapore. In 2025, leading professional clubs will have brought all of their international activities, subsidiaries and affiliated companies abroad (seed and farming teams, representative offices, fan shops, etc.) together under one roof. In a separate new business unit the operating companies for the stadium, catering, events, etc. will be combined with new businesses and businesses still under development. The management of these subsidiaries and operating companies, which are business segments peripheral to the core business of football, will be led by independent managers which receive guidance on matters of portfolio optimization from the board, which also will have a controlling and monitoring function.

Oliver Mintzlaff - Neugeschäft
Oliver Mintzlaff - Wachstum

eSports as Adjacent Business

In particular, the development of new fields of business will help ensure that professional clubs will be able to reduce the dependence of business success on sporting success considerably in ten years. One of the biggest growth areas is e-sports. While the FIFA Interactive World Cup will celebrate its 36th birthday in 2025, the German teams in the club championships square off against one another in the “Virtual Bundesliga” in their own sports arena. Now that some clubs have already begun to extend their activities to other sports (such as FC Bayern in basketball), VfL Wolfsburg was the first Bundesliga club to hire two professional e-sports enthusiasts in 2015 to wear the green and white in all national and international virtual football tournaments. In the same year Beşiktaş Istanbul became the first international professional club to buy a professional League of Legends team to open the Beşiktaş e-sports club. Fantasy games have already generated more than USD 200 million in the US in 2015, but have only recently reached the European mainland. The football console games which are getting more realistic with each passing year, are a melding of real and digital football and are giving rise to additional betting and advertising markets.

Oliver Poppelbaum - eGaming

Club-Campus is Self-Evident

With a view to 2025, education is another important growth area for professional clubs. While 2014 saw the first national league clubs cooperating with colleges and universities to establish institutions such as the Kleeblatt Campus in Fürth, the VfL campus in Wolfsburg and the Schalke Academy, in 2025 educational institutions will be part of the inventory of the leading professional clubs. The point is not only training and development of their own management personnel, but also the coaches, players and specialists within the club. In addition, having their own campus will give the professional clubs targeted employer marketing (employer branding) and position them as education-oriented employers on international employment markets. In addition, having their own educational institutions enables clubs to bring internationally renowned experts to their own campuses and secure access to best practices.