Welcome news for American Bundesliga fans…. it has been announced that first-division German clubs Borussia Mönchengladbach and 1.FSV Mainz 05, who play each other today at the Coface Arena, will be coming to Colorado in July to train in Vail and in Colorado Springs, and play in the ‘Funding Ones Freedom’ Colorado Cup friendlies against two yet-to-be-named first-tier Mexican clubs at Denver’s Sports Authority Field and in Colorado Springs at the Air Force Academy field.
Neither Vail and Colorado Springs are strangers to hosting elite quality athletic competitions, especially in World Cup skiing, USA Pro Challenge, lacrosse and volleyball rallies. And Denver is home to the Colorado Rapids of MLS, along with the NFL Denver Broncos, the NBA Denver Nuggets, the NHL Colorado Avalanche and the National League’s Colorado Rockies. But bringing the German clubs to these locations is a big deal.
“I think for us the potential to market Colorado in association with the Bundesliga league and Germany and some of the clubs from Mexico, that’s a big benefit,” said Michael Driver, the director of international marketing for the Colorado Tourism Office. Tammy Fields, the head of economic development for the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, remarked that “It’s a big deal. Just having that opportunity to expose Colorado Springs to an international market and to soccer in general and building a brand from that, we are excited.”
Exact dates for the training and friendlies have yet to be announced. With the 2016 Euros final on July 10 and the Liga MX Apertura Torneo usually kicking off in late July, one would imagine that the friendlies will be held in the middle of the month, but that’s purely speculation.
The Colorado Cup has been three years in the making, and is the result of the efforts of brothers Justin and Jason Rose, both Colorado natives. The JJR Consulting Group, based in Frankfurt, Germany has been involved in coaching and consulting with soccer clubs, athletes, students, professionals and companies to achieve desired results. Justin Rose has worked closely with the DFL over the last four years in these roles and also in helping to facilitate adult and student travel involving student exchange programs, team trips, and player tryouts.
In addition to training and playing friendlies in preparation for the 2016/2017 Bundesliga season, Gladbach and Mainz will also be involved in mentoring and teaching clinics for area youth players.
Of course this is yet another opportunity for the Bundesliga in general and Mainz and Gladbach in particular to build brand-awareness in the United States and also among fans of the two Mexican clubs that will be involved in the Cup. Representatives of both clubs have been visiting the Colorado locations this month. With Bayer Leverkusen coming to the Florida Cup in January the last two season, 1.FC Koln participating last season in Florida and Schalke this January, along with Bayern Munich playing friendlies two summers ago in New York and Portland, Oregon, the United States is getting more attention from the Bundesliga in the past two years than in ….. decades???
So this announcement is yet more good news for Americans who support the Bundesliga and its clubs. For more information, check out these articles in the Vail Daily and the Business section of the Denver Post. And of course the Fanatic will bring more details of these events as they become public. After the fun times experienced at the Florida Cup the last two Januarys, I’m already packing my bags for Colorado !!!