A few years ago German superclub Bayern Munich came to the rather obvious conclusion that if it hoped to continue competing with European powers funded by deep-pocketed Middle Eastern owners and Russian oligarchs, it was going to have to find new streams of revenue outside Germany.
The club has made quick advances in the U.S., one of the markets targeted in its global outreach: The number of official Bayern Munich fan clubs has grown from eight to 129 in 38 states, and figures complied by the Nielsen Corp. show the team's digital audience has more than doubled to 27 million.
Now a fan survey conducted by the club in the U.S. expands on those findings.
According to results of the unscientific online survey released Tuesday, Bayern Munich has supporters in all 50 states and nearly half the respondents — 43% — are younger than 25. Eighteen percent are female.
Those who self-identified as Bayern Munich fans say they follow the team because the roster includes a favorite player, they like the team's style of play or they were attracted by the club's success.
A third of respondents said they have been fans for at least five seasons, and more than half (51%) said they did not play soccer growing up.
Fans of the club were asked how many hours per week they spent following Bayern Munich platforms including television, online and social media; 60% answered between one and four hours, and almost a quarter (23%) said they devote five or more hours to following the team.
Nearly half of the respondents (48%) said they also support local soccer teams in addition to Bayern Munich.