The exciting news of the University of Denver’s new partnership with FC Bayern Munich, one of the truly premier powerhouse professional soccer teams in the world, represents an unbelievable opportunity for not only the DU soccer program, but for the entire DU community.
This agreement between a University and a major professional sports team is quite innovative on a number of levels:
LEVEL 1: DIRECT DU SOCCER BENEFITS: For the DU soccer program, the coaching collaborations, training and touring opportunities with Bayern are huge recruiting and competitive boost for DU Coach Jamie Franks and his staff in terms of knowledge transfer, player exposure and development. With DU competing against 200+ other NCAA D-I soccer schools for top talent, this kind of partnership could be a very real recruiting edge, as well as a boost to the coaches’ access to world class coaching techniques that result in better performance and better players choosing DU. Hosting Bayern’s teams for training opportunities here at altitude is another huge plus for the soccer program, especially for Bayern’s annual summer exhibition tours of the USA.
LEVEL 2: DIRECT UNIVERSITY BENEFITS: Partnerships between colleges and top pro sports organizations are still somewhat rare. Certainly, a school like DU can benefit from the educational, cultural and research opportunities that can come from access to one of the top soccer teams in Europe. DU’s research programs can gain more global access and enhanced credibility with Bayern. Linking our outstanding sports performance (medicine, psychology, strength and nutrition) programs to Bayern will help DU stay on the cutting edge as well as helping Bayern. The cultural benefits of sending DU students to Bayern’s offices in Munich, New York and Shanghai on study abroad, internships and exposing them to the potential of soccer careers is sensational. And educating Bayern’s organization through online coursework can offer incredible exposure for DU’s academic programs. The benefits of such collaborations across the University are multiple, accretive and salutary.
LEVEL 3: BRAND ASSOCIATION AND REPUTATION BENEFITS: As a private university, DU is in a daily battle for prestige around the world, and the University must rely on and enhance the power of its brand to drive its global destiny. By aligning itself with a prestigious, global sports brand such as Bayern, DU can not only tap into the halo of door-opening excellence that Bayern has built around the world, but DU will be given a competitive lift by truly leveraging its new association.
All in all, this is a great opportunity for the entire DU community. DU’s leadership should be commended for making this happen, and I urge everyone connected with DU to not only enjoy the immediate benefits of this collaboration, but to be proactive, innovative and thoughtful about growing its potential…
We all benefit from this kind of strategic thinking.
Now, let’s maximize the execution.
Puck Swami is the Internet moniker of a long time DU sports fan and alumnus. He shares his views periodically here at LetsGoDU.