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FC Bayern Munich Explores Relationship Between European Soccer and College Football Fans

Venturing into unexplored territory, FC Bayern Munich took one Texas A&M fan on an unforgettable adventure across sports.

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Photo credit: FC Bayern

Recently, many soccer teams have been exploring the intersection of basketball and soccer — an effort led, in part, by a growing relationship between the sports’ biggest stars.

FC Bayern Munich, though, took a different approach, deciding this past fall to examine the intersection between European soccer and college football culture, which is a territory previously unexplored in the industry.

The exploration sparked a journey that crossed oceans. Seen through the eyes of Texas A&M senior Colin Brennan, a video released last week on the club’s U.S. social handles takes viewers to Kyle Field in College Station, Texas and Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany.

While the sports themselves differ tremendously, something bonds their fans together: a shared sense of passion for their respective teams. This is something Bayern clearly outlines in the video as it captures scenes from game day at each stadium.

READ MORE: Sacramento Republic FC Makes a Child’s Dream Come True

Parallels between the fan bases, something that might be overlooked by many, have been on Bayern’s radar for a while.

“Whenever we talk about soccer to someone who is not yet a fan, we always use college football fan culture to describe the passion around the game,” said FC Bayern Munich’s President of the Americas, Rudolf Vidal.

“The fandom around these two sports is incredibly similar — avid, passed down through generations with the game day chants having huge influence on the game.”

From the storied “midnight yell” at Kyle Field, which brings over 20,000 fans to Kyle Field the night before a game to practice cheers for the next day, to Bayern’s infamous 9,000 person fan section called Südkurve, followers of both teams are dedicated to their fandom.

For both teams, fandom is often passed down from generation to generation, and the communities that support them become like families.

“As a student at Texas A&M, it always feels like a family to me and we have a saying ‘we are the Aggies, the Aggies are we.’ Here with Bayern Munich, the slogan is ‘mia san mia,’ which is ‘we are who we are’ and it’s just family ties, club ties, and the club becomes your family,” said Brennan.

READ MORE: Super Soccer Stars Grows Its Presence in the Health and Wellness Space

The timing of the piece was perfect. Launching ahead of the Super Bowl, the club was able to catch the attention of football fans by leaning into the hype of one of sports’ most anticipated events.

This is not the first time Bayern has ventured into football.

Last summer, the club teamed up with the University of Miami for a soccer and football crossover game featuring legends from the German club and the university. The match, which occurred at the House of Soccer ahead of the International Champions Cup in Miami, resulted in a number of pieces of content across FC Bayern US’s social handles and entertained fans who attended in person.

Untraditional thinking has set Bayern apart as it has worked to grow its brand in the U.S. Studying one of America’s favorite sports, and one of college football’s favorite teams, is a good next step in bridging the gaps between soccer and non-soccer fans, finding commonality where others haven’t yet looked.

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Kyrie Irving Expected to Sign with Roc Nation

Kyrie Irving is expected to sign with Roc Nation, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.

Michael McCarthy

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Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving is expected to sign with Roc Nation, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.

Irving, who was most recently repped by Jeffrey Wechsler of 24/7 Sports Management, joins an NBA client roster at Roc Nation that includes the likes of Kevin Durant, Josh Hart, Justise Winslow, Danny Green and Caris LeVert.

The switch in representation comes on the same day that Irving took the first step toward his prospective free agency this summer.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Irving is not opting into his $21.3 million contract for the 2019-20 season and will become an unrestricted free agent.

By not opting into his contract, Irving can sign with any NBA team when free agency opens on Sunday, June 30th.

If he signs with a team other than the Celtics, he will be eligible to sign a max deal worth $139 million over four years.

If he were to stay with the Celtics, Irving can sign a five-year deal worth $188 million.

An industry source speculated that Roc Nation could be waiving the fees on Irving’s contract in order to retain his marketing rights.

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Meet the WNBA’s New Boss

Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert will become the first commissioner of the WNBA and the first woman to lead a Big Four professional services firm in the U.S.

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

*This piece first appeared in the Front Office Sports Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the news before anyone else.

For the first time ever, the WNBA will have a commissioner. Before now, all of the league’s previous leaders like Val Ackerman and Lisa Borders were given the title of president. 

Cathy Engelbert, the current CEO of Deloitte, will take control of the role on July 17th and will report directly to Adam Silver. 

What should you know?

1. By the time she is done at Deloitte, Engelbert will have spent more time at the company (33 years) than the WNBA has been a league (23 years)

2. Engelbert is the first female to lead a Big Four professional services firm in the U.S.

3. She is the fifth person to lead the league after Val Ackerman (1997-2005), Donna Orender (2005-10), Laurel Richie (2011-15) and Lisa Borders (2016-2018)

4. Engelbert has spent the past four years in charge of Deloitte’s U.S. operation.

Basketball is in her blood…

Although she might be an accountant by trade, Engelbert is no stranger to the game of basketball. 

According to Bob Hille of Sporting News, she played at Lehigh for Hall of Fame coach Muffet McGraw and was a team captain as a senior. Her father Kurt also played and was drafted in 1957 by the Pistons.

What are they saying?

“Cathy is a world-class business leader with a deep connection to women’s basketball, which makes her the ideal person to lead the WNBA into its next phase of growth. The WNBA will benefit significantly from her more than 30 years of business and operational experience including revenue generation, sharp entrepreneurial instincts and proven management abilities.” – Adam Silver on the hiring of Engelbert

“I think that’s probably one of the reasons I was selected for this role, to come in and bring a business plan to build the WNBA into a real business and a thriving business, quite frankly.” – Engelbert to ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel

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Adam Silver Wants More Gender Diversity

The NBA commissioner states his desire to get more women into the sports industry. The NBA currently has a 31.6 percent ratio of women in team management.

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Photo Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

*This piece first appeared in the Front Office Sports Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the news before anyone else. 

If Adam Silver has his way, 50 percent of the new incoming NBA officials will be women.

That number applies to coaches too, Silver said speaking at the Economic Club of Washington.

How do the leagues stack up?

The following numbers, outside of MLB, come from 2018 reports put together by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida. MLB is the first league to have a report done on it this year.

1. NBA – 31.6% of team management are women / 37.2% of team professional admins are women

2. NFL – 22.1% of team senior admins are women / 35% of team professional admins are women

3. MLB – 28.6% of team senior admins are women / 26% of team professional admins are women

4. MLS – 26.5% of team senior admins are women / 31.6% of team professional admins are women

5. WNBA – 48.6% of team VPs and above are women / 58% of team managers to senior directors are women

6. NHL – No report done

Quotes from Silver… 

“It’s an area, frankly, where I’ve acknowledged that I’m not sure how it was that it remained so male-dominated for so long. Because it’s an area of the game where physically, certainly, there’s no benefit to being a man, as opposed to a woman, when it comes to refereeing.”

“The goal is going forward, it should be roughly 50-50 of new officials entering in the league. Same for coaches, by the way. We have a program, too. There’s no reason why women shouldn’t be coaching men’s basketball.”

That’s not all Silver wants to see change…

Silver, who has been adamant about getting rid of the one-and-done rule, provided some clarity as to when that might be achieved.

According to the commissioner, the 2022 NBA Draft will likely be the first one since the 2005 NBA Draft to allow high school players to go straight into the league rather than playing a season in college first.

Citing “active discussions” with the NBPA, Silver noted that they are still “a few years away.”

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