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Bayern Munich teams up with SAP to hit sporting and commercial goals

Brian McKenna

FC Bayern Munich and SAP today cemented a sports analytics and enterprise software partnership at the club’s Allianz Arena.

For the next three years, the two organisations will combine work on software systems to support the football club’s sporting and commercial goals. Bayern hopes to expand its global reach, optimise the team’s performance and enrich the experience of its fans at home and abroad.

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Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, former German football striker and CEO of FC Bayern Munich said: "SAP has the technology to support three of our main goals: optimise our business processes to facilitate our global expansion, help our team stay fit and perform at their highest level and give our fans the best possible experience.

“Bayern Munich is currently one the best performing football clubs in the world. Leveraging innovative technology, we want to permanently secure a global top position for FC Bayern. 

"Our players’ performance and their health are of paramount importance to reach this goal, and so are our fans. Our club has more than 292 million fans worldwide, including 9.4 million in the US. We have ambitious goals both in terms of sports and economic success, and we want to inspire people worldwide.”

Jörg Wacker, executive board member strategy and internationalisation at Bayern Munich, said: “We are living in the 21st century and we are competing globally with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United. For us a core value is loyalty to our fans. We are owned by our fan members."

Wacker said the company is interested in getting better connected to its fans, and that, in the digital era, it has to be more technology driven. He gave the speculative example of posting photos of manager Pep Guardiola attending the Oktoberfest in Munich on Twitter, which might appeal to Bayern fans.

“The other side of this is using data we already have to analyse the training sessions and the games to get to the next step with our coaching team.”

Chris Burton, vice-president of global sponsorships at SAP, said: “Both brands have a lot in common in respect of attention to detail and dong what’s right for customers. Our goal to use technology from SAP and Bayern München’s deep knowledge of this beautiful game to co-innovate, to help with the health and safety of the players and the business operations of the club, like any other business”. 

Burton added that SAP’s German provenance, in contrast to competitors like IBM or Oracle, was of little moment: "a culture trumps geography every time.”

Earlier this year, the club signed a deal for SAP’s Customer Relationship Management application and its ecommerce Hybris software. It is looking to use this software to intensify the interaction with its fans, personalise their experience and reward them for loyalty.

The club is also looking to SAP’s data analytics software and services, based on the supplier’s in-memory database platform Hana, to improve the performance and monitor the health of Bayern’s playing staff.

The relationship between SAP and Bayern Munich reprises that between the supplier and the German national team, which bore fruit in the recent World Cup. Germany used Match Insights technology, based on Hana, during its triumphant procession through the tournament. Seven of the German players – when the winning goal was struck against Argentina – were from Bayern Munich, recalled Wacker.

Gerhard Oswald, member of the Executive Board of SAP. said: “The partnership between SAP and FC Bayern Munich is an impressive union”.


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