The Borussia Dortmund executive also revealed that a legends’ game could take place in the country by 2020.
Asia is an untapped market for most of the European clubs, especially India, where football is not the prime sport compared to China and Japan. However, the potential of the country is deeply understood by the Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.
The Black and Yellow’s managing director, Carsten Cramer talked to the Indian media contingent during Bundesliga 2019-20 media visit in Germany, where he hinted that the club is taking the South Asian country as their prime target. “Fully convinced about the craziness of Indian people regarding football and we at BVB are convinced that the story we are telling might be interesting for India,” he said.
“We have discussed with IMG and Bundesliga to increase our activities in India. We try to leave a footprint in India as well, but the country is so huge, different regions, different hotspots. Also, a bit difficult to make football available to the people and we have to think about the right approach.
“We are not a Premier League club which are looking for a high fee or a friendly. It is sensible to start up by some grassroots initiative like education, football clinics with any collaboration and so on. We have to do it step by step. It is not our vision to just come to India and go after just playing a game. We mean to stay in India.”
Journalists from across India were invited by the Bundesliga
When asked about his awareness of Indian football, Carsten said he knows about the Indian Super League and that it took some time to establish fully.
He pointed out that to increase the awareness about Dortmund in India, the broadcasters need to broaden the German football telecast and the club should initiate investing in young player projects with the exchange of professional coaches to educate the mentors and provide access to professional players.
“The legends game is one we are on our way and could happen latest by next year. We have to make the decision of where to play and with whom – will it be a local legends team or an international legends team. We will see,” said Cramer as he elaborated on the most realistic way to introduce BVB to the Indian market.
“At the moment we would come with a team, the crowd has to be there. Playing in a large stadium, then we will like to see the craziness of the people around. For this to happen we need to be well prepared. But, it takes some time and It is a target definitely,” the offficial added.
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Another European club, Atletico de Madrid had a keen interest in the Indian market almost a decade ago and they took their first step by investing in ATK at the time of the inception of the ISL. Things didn’t go well for both parties and now the La Liga club are assisting Jamshedpur FC in a partnership.
When asked about the possibility of witnessing a BVB venture in India, the managing director said, “I visited two clubs and don’t want to talk about things which are not signed yet. Our business is not done by rumours, it has to be done by facts and commitment. At the moment, I won’t bring more rumours on the table, but yes we are talking to clubs and then decide the right approach.”
“We would never really invest in other clubs. This is something for sure. We are not looking to just invest,” said Cramer as he explained that they are not looking for a club based on monetary gains, but are keen to help their partner grow bigger the traditional BVB way.