Frankfurt/Beijing - The Bundesliga's ever-increasing worldwide audience assumed an even greater dimension thanks to the Bundesliga Legends Tour 2014.
All eyes on Metzelder and the Bundesliga
Christoph Metzelder was in Beijing, China, between 27 and 31 August as part of the inaugural excursion which takes Bundesliga legends even closer to the fans, no matter where they are scattered around the globe.
A visit to a local school, a fans' meet & greet session and several high-profile television appearances were all on the agenda for the former FC Schalke 04, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid CF defender, who mastered his post-playing career duties with the same success as his on-field exploits: enchanting and enticing many new fans to one of the most revered leagues on the planet.
The 47-time German international was the focus of the attention as he brought the Bundesliga brand that bit closer to the Chinese market, enjoying a kickabout with budding professionals and potential future Bundesliga imports whilst promoting the Bundesliga to a multi-million television audience in one of the world's biggest markets.
Millions more to tune in
Chinese state TV channel CCTV5 screened an interview with the 33-year-old as part of their "Total Soccer" show before 20 Chinese media representatives met with Metzelder for breakfast and one-to-one interviews. An appearance on the popular LeTV Huang Show, to be screened on 8 September, will reach an estimated several 100 million viewers.
Finally, after an autograph session in an Adidas store, 50 lucky fans earned the chance to meet Metzelder via a social media competition, with the Bundesliga legend earlier saying how he was "looking forward to meeting Chinese kids on and off the pitch," adding "it's going to be an eye-opening experience."
That it most certainly was with many millions of new eyes opened to the allure of the Bundesliga, thanks to Metzelder and the Bundesliga Legends Tour, part one.