Borussia Dortmund launch official fan club in Bengaluru
What's the story
Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund are one of the most popular clubs in Asia. The football club was founded in 1909 and is one of the most successful clubs in German football history. Now, the German giants are launching an official fan club in the city of Bengaluru.
In case you didn't know...
Dortmund are well-known for their fan experience, and passionate atmosphere in their home stadium and their knack to consistently produce talented footballers. Their youth academy is one of the best in the Bundesliga.
The heart of the matter
The reason behind launching a fan club in the country is due to the increasing popularity of the sport.
"People's interest in football and football-related events in the country has been steadily growing for the past couple of years" managing director of BVB Asia Pacific, Suresh Letchmanan said to TOI.
"The Indian Super League and I-League are seeing more and more fans, and India hosting the Under 17 FIFA World Cup has made the sport bigger than ever. And when you take a city like Bengaluru, which has one of the best club and fans in the country, football is big. The moment felt right to connect with the fans here and let them get to experience the BVB way of approaching football — not just as a sport, but also as a way of life."
The club intends to not just make it an exciting fan experience by starting a fan club, but also contribute more the sport's growing influence here. BVB coach Julia Farr runs a lot of football-related programmes for women. She runs training camps in the city over the weekend for kids.
Speaking about the club's relationship with its fans, she says, "BVB is, at its very core, a people's club. We don't want to just start a fan club and forget about it — we instead want to build a relationship with the fans. Not just by way of match screenings and other fun activities, but also by looking to tie up with local football clubs and youth academies and help football grow at the grassroots level. The reason we feel a country like India can connect with a club like ours is because of our similar traits — perseverance, rich history and a strong connection to self-belief and culture."
A big hurdle for the club will be to provide more visibility for their live game fixtures, considering English, Spanish and Italian leagues are more popular here on TV than the German league.
It is extremely delightful to see the German football clubs are taking the effort to reach out to fans in the Indian subcontinent. Hopefully, their efforts will help the Bundesliga receive more exposure in India.