Beyond the Pitch

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LISTEN: Greg Garza talks ATL, MLS ASG with Beyond the Pitch

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Only two Atlanta United players have hit the pitch for more minutes than Greg Garza on his debut run through Major League Soccer, and our friends at the Beyond the Pitch have Greg in the house for a podcast ahead of the All Star’s appearance versus Real Madrid.

[ USMNT: More Pulisic-Liverpool links ]

Scott Nicholls is joined by Atlanta United defender and MLS All-Star Greg Garza to discuss his career journey, including the many countries he has played in, almost walking away from the game, how he ended up in Atlanta and what it means to be voted an All-Star.

Bayern Munich explain US plans; hope to return for preseason in 2018

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Bayern Munich is working hard to continue its growth in the United States of America.

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Since 2014 Bayern have had an office in New York City which heads up its plan to grow its fanbase in the USA through marketing. With the team coming to the U.S. for preseason in both 2014 and 2016, and again this summer, the Bundesliga giants are certainly trying to muscle their way into the American market.

The man leading that push is Rudolf Vidal, Bayern Munich’s President of the Americas, and he spoke to the guys over on the Beyond the Pitch podcast about what Bayern have been doing, and are planning to do, in the U.S. market.

He believes it is crucial that Bayern is on the ground in NYC.

“We wanted to connect with our fans and in order to do that and build with our partners and look for mutually beneficial partnerships, it is crucial to be in the market,” Vidal said. “It is way easy than doing that from 6,000 kilometers away. In order to face those opportunities it is very important to be here in the market.”

Vidal also spoke to BTP about how Bayern has been able to grow in the U.S. over the past three years, as they started with eight fan clubs Stateside and now have 122 across 38 states and Canada. Connecting with fans of traditional American sports has been a big reason in their growth.

“The sports market here in the U.S. is very competitive but we also saw that all the soccer fans are interested in any kind of sports, so it is easy to connect with them when you do things together with those other leagues,” Vidal revealed. “That’s something we tried from the beginning and working with those leagues are crucial.”

Vidal also feels that Bayern’s last two preseason trips to the U.S. have been hugely beneficial in growing their fanbase and revealed they’re looking to come back the summer after next.

“We will hopefully be coming back to the U.S. in the summer of 2018,” Vidal said. “It has been very, very successful. We gained more than 180,000 people attending three matches. We gained 34 million impressions across social media and had over 12 million people watching on TV, which is awesome.”

Below you can listen to the interview in full.