American Marketer


Audi brings top clubs to US for soccer summit

May 19, 2014

Redbull Arena Redbull Arena, courtesy of Wikipedia


Audi is bolstering its commitment to soccer by bringing the Audi Football Summit July 31 to the United States for the first time.

The Audi Football Summit harnesses global appeal by bringing together Germany's FC Bayern Munich and Mexico's Club Deportivo Guadalajara. The timing of the summit could not be better, as soccer enthusiasts will be revved up from the FIFA World Cup, especially since Germany is pegged by many to be favorite.

"“Audi is a trusted partner of FC Bayern and a big supporter of the international football community," said Andrew Lipman, general manager of communications for Audi of America, New York.

Global appeal
The Audi Football Summit will take place at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. The stadium has a capacity of 25,189 people.

European teams consistently grab the best talent in the world, so the U.S. fans will appreciate the higher quality of play. Also, the fervor generated by the World Cup will still likely be present.

FC Bayern has 15 million followers in the U.S., according to the club, which challenges the widespread notion that Americans do not care about soccer.


FC Bayern Munich team

While Audi is throwing its weight behind FC Bayern, Club Deportivo Guadalajara will also bring out legions of fans. The club is considered one of the most historic teams in Mexico, with 11 first division titles and two Copa México trophies won over the years.


Members of Club Deportivo Guadalajara

For the tour, FC Bayern players will drive Audi vehicles and stay in New York for four days, likely attending events and mingling with fans.

Fit for all

Soccer is widely regarded as a democratic sport. Fans from all socioeconomic backgrounds converge to watch their favorite teams. Many luxury brands leverage this dynamic to build an aspirational consumer base.

For instance, Swiss watchmaker Hublot opened its first Latin American boutique in Rio de Janeiro Feb. 5 as the Brazilian city prepares for the FIFA World Cup beginning June 12.

Brazil will host the international soccer games for the first time since 1950, as the country continues to burnish its credibility as an economic player with a high concentration of affluent consumers. For Hublot, opening its first boutique before the World Cup will introduce the brand to affluent Brazilians and cater to the international audience that plans to travel to Rio de Janeiro for the games (see story).

Audi has been increasingly committed to diversifying its vehicle offerings, making the brand more accessible for aspirational consumers. Recent campaigns reflect this effort.

For example, Audi of America gathered fan tales of adversity and resilience for a live-stream event in Santa Monica, CA, directed by creative figures such as artists, designers and musicians.

The massive community-driven initiative was an extension of the “Paid my Dues” campaign that heralded the debut of the A3. As Audi repositions its entry-level vehicles to appeal to a broader audience, tapping the universal theme of overcoming obstacles will likely resonate (see story).

"In fact, earlier this year, Audi opened its first overseas office in New York," Mr. Lipman said.

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York