Sport DFL hopes for Bayern, Dortmund - and the spectators
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There are ambitious plans for the Virtual Bundesliga (VBL): The competition should attract new spectators and sponsors, become the third major brand of the DFL and attract FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund . However, this requires patience.
Year after year, the VBL continues to develop in small steps. However, the DFL has set itself a long-term goal: The Virtual Bundesliga is to establish itself as the third "competitive brand" behind the Bundesliga and the 2nd Bundesliga.
Andreas Heyden, EVP Digital Innovations of the DFL Group, revealed this goal in an interview with the trade magazine SPONSORs. The aim is for all 36 clubs from the two professional leagues to participate, including FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. The two heavyweights of German football are missing so far, but have come much closer to eFootball in the past year. They could both get involved soon, but Heyden doesn't want to force them: "We have to convince the clubs about the attractiveness and profitability of the competition."
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The long wait for the spectators
The development of the media product is decisive for the development of the VBL. This task has been taken over by the ESL since the current season. This has not yet been reflected in a large growth in viewers, something that ESL boss Ralf Reichert is also aware of. "FIFA as a spectator sport is currently not as relevant as other game titles," he says. Reichert wants to change this. The ESL would have proven in the past that it is capable of this. At the moment, however, patience is needed, because "even three years would be very ambitious" to turn FIFA into a top spectator sport.
According to Reichert, the goal of the current and coming season is to show as many encounters as possible, to tell good stories about the competition and to bring out the star potential of the players. Heyden would also like to involve more streamers and thereby increase interest in the league. The DFL official did not name any names, nor did he say how this is actually done.
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An obvious candidate would be Elias Nerlich. The Berliner attracts a multiple of the VBL viewers in his private broadcasts. The competition of the German FIFA elite should also be shown again soon on linear television. In an interview, Reichert announced that there would be news soon.
sponsors stand in line
media revenues play a subordinate role in the planning of the DFL and ESL for the time being. "Building coverage is much more important in the first step," explains Reichert. Nevertheless, more money should be taken soon, because new sponsoring partners are already in prospect. According to Reichert, the demand from companies is "extremely high" and the league is expected to enter into new cooperation for the coming season. That might convince Bayern and BVB.
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