Bayern Munich’s SAP Deal Helps Soccer Players to Fitness

Bayern Munich will use SAP SE software to analyze and improve the performance of soccer players as Germany’s biggest technology company sponsors the country’s champion team and develops new markets.

Software to help player fitness and recovery from injury is a particular focus, Bayern Munich Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said at a press conference at the team’s Allianz Arena in Munich today. SAP, the world’s largest supplier of business-management software, will also provide tools to help the club expand its global presence, he said.

Bayern Munich, which begins its season on Aug. 22, already uses SAP software for data analysis and ticketing. The latest three-year deal isn’t exclusive and financial terms weren’t revealed. SAP, which supplies software to help companies manage operations, human resources and finances, said last year that it’s expanding in the sports software and entertainment market.

“Sport is for us a relatively young industry,” SAP Chief Financial Officer Luka Mucic said at today’s press conference. The market is worth a “high double-digit million-euro” sum with “great growth potential,” he said.

SAP’s offerings may be used, for example, to provide statistics and interact with fans, or manage talent scouting. The company is seeking new fields for growth as demand for its traditional enterprise software slows.

Lederhosen Tradition

Bayern Munich doesn’t see a conflict between its traditions and making use of the latest technology to improve performance on and off the pitch, said Rummenigge.

“We live between lederhosen and laptop,” said Rummenigge, referring to Bavarian leather shorts. “Lederhosen is the tradition which is very important, but I think that in this increasingly digital world we always have to take that element into account too.”

In contrast to some other sponsors, Walldorf-based SAP hasn’t announced plans to acquire a stake in Bayern Munich. The soccer club’s shareholders include sporting-gear maker Adidas AG, financial services company Allianz SE and Volkswagen AG’s Audi unit, according to its website.

Borussia Dortmund, which competes with Bayern Munich in the German league, is targeting an agreement to sell at least a 5 percent stake each to two strategic partners by the end of September, following the sale of a 9 percent holding to Evonik Industries AG in June, Managing Director Hans-Joachim Watzke said last month.