In recent years, Bundesliga clubs have opened their passports and travelled across the world as part of pre-season preparations. From San Jose to Shanghai, the likes of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have been leading the way for German clubs in foreign climes.
Since 2012, Bayern have been on a foreign pre-season tour in all but one summer. Two trips to the US and two to China have provided the club not only with competitive matches ahead of the new season, but also the chance to engage with their incredible number of fans around the world.
Over the last two seasons, Bayern have faced AC Milan, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and others during the summer, while also holding open training sessions and a number of activities with fans in the respective country. The results matter for the club, but only as much as engagement with fans in the country they are visiting. Building relationships at a personal level, not just through television screens, is vital in bringing more fans to the league.
One of the most memorable pre-season moments in recent seasons for Bayern was the hat-trick scored by youngster Julian Green (now of Stuttgart) against Inter Milan in his native United States.
Watch: Green nets hat-trick in Charlotte, North Carolina, against Inter
For Dortmund, Asia has been home for the last three summers. The club has a huge fan base, especially in Japan, with stars such as Shinji Kagawa bringing dedicated interest from a substantial audience.
Accordingly, Dortmund have developed a vast following. Last summer was arguably BVB’s most successful, beating Manchester United by a 4-1 scoreline during the tour of China. The result included the memorable first sightings of new talents such as Ousmane Dembele and Emre Mor, who dazzled the local fans.
Watch: Dortmund shine in comfortable Man United win in summer 2016
It is not just Bayern and Dortmund, however, who head abroad to meet fans and wow the world Similarly to Eintracht Frankfurt, who will be in the US this summer, a number of Bundesliga teams have gone global in recent years. The likes of Schalke, Bayer Leverkusen, Mainz and Wolfsburg have all spent time in either the US or Asia, engaging with the Bundesliga’s ever-growing fan base.
More Bundesliga World Tour
Click on the link above for a full overview of the Bundesliga World Tour 2017.
Bundesliga fans outside Germany will have a chance to meet their heroes this summer. Click on the link above to find out more.