Weston McKennie's mom, the mayor of Houston and a visit to NASA: Bayern and Schalke host memorable Texas fan event
They might be longtime Bundesliga competitors on the pitch, but off the pitch Bayern Munich recently put their rivalry with Schalke aside as the Bavarian giants' USA office invited fans from their Ruhr rivals to watch alongside them in Houston when the sides faced off at the Allianz Arena on Bundesliga Matchday 22.
With Bayern's USA roadshow rolling into Texas on 8 February, two days before the game, both clubs' social-media departments linked up to create entertaining content for local fans, including mascots Berni and Erwin making a joint trip to NASA's Johnson Space Center and the Royal Blues visiting both the German Consulate and German-American Chamber of Commerce.
The social media antics, though, were all merely build-up to the main event: a viewing party at Houston's appropriately named Bar Munich. Unsurprisingly for one of the Bundesliga's marquee fixtures, the bar was well over capacity, with more than 300 fans from both sets of fan clubs in attendance on February 10.
While the game ended 2-1 to Bayern, meaning those of a red persuasion left the happier, there was some consolation for Schalke fans with the arrival of some star dust: Weston McKennie's mother made the four-hour journey from Dallas to attend the event and raffle away one of her son's signed shirts at half-time.
Bayern's US department have been arranging roadshows to take place around the USA and Canada this season in order to bring the club closer to its countless fans on the continent.
Those attending viewing parties have the chance to meet Berni, who was once again centre stage in Houston, take photos with the club's vast array of trophies and showcase the Bavarians' vast fan-club culture in North America to a global audience.