Thilo Kunkel, Ph.D.

Bayern Munich Brand Image

Pep Guardiola and Bayern Munich have a chance to repair the damage that the game against the MLS Allstars has left on their brand image.

The German club has opened an office in New York City to “increase its stateside fan base and strengthen the position of its brand, product and philosophy in the U.S. market,” according to Jörg Wacker the club’s executive board member for internationalization and strategy. Bayern Munich has received extensive media coverage in the last three years because of their attractive style of play and their success in the UEFA Champions League.

However, the positive image that fans formed about the German heavyweight has received some dents in their recent game against the Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Stars. The game ended 2:1 for the MLS All-Stars, but it was not the loss that had tarnished Bayern’s brand image, but the fact that Pep Guardiola refused to shake hands with Caleb Porter after the game, because of fouls committed against Bayern Munich players. Instead of shaking hands, Guardiola wagged his finger at the coach of the MLS All-Stars (see picture above).


Gulati - Tweet

Pep Guardiola stated that he didn’t see Porter (the finger wag seems pretty obvious to me) and US Soccer president Sunil Gulati tweeted that everything was “All good with Pep Guardiola and Caleb Porter” (see tweet on the left).


However, US soccer supporters were angered by the gesture. One comment that represents the sentiment of many other soccer supporters (see the 116 likes) states: “The MLS should not invite Bayern back next year or any year until that [curse word] coach is gone. That act of un-sportsmanship should not be rewarded with a return trip to the states for Bayern to build their marketing arm in the US. Suffer the consequences of your coaches’ actions…” (see picture below). Here is also a link to an original article posted by the MLS: 

Reply to Guardiola

A video posted by Caleb Porter has given Pep Guardiola to repair the negative impact his behavior had on the Bayern Munich brand image. Porter has nominated Pep Guardiola to complete the #IceBucketChallenge to support the ALS Association. The Ice Bucket Challenge involves dumping a bucket full of ice water over ones head and then nominating other people to follow lead. After he had a bucket full of ice water dumped over his head (see picture below), Porter nominated Jürgen Klinsmann and Pep Guardiola. Now they have 24 hours to complete the challenge or make a donation to the ALS foundation who support scientific research to find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. For the video click this link: SBNationPorter Ice Bucket


By accepting the nomination, Pep Guardiola can regain respect from US soccer supporters and repair the damage done in the MLS All-Star game. However, for best results here is some advice to approach the challenge:

  • Don’t just dump a bucket of ice water, sit in a pool of ice water.
  • Hold a colorful cocktail, yes, with little umbrella (a little self-mockery never hurts).
  • Wag your finger at Porter (ironically) while saying “na na na, Caleb, Mir san Ice Bucket Challenge”.
  • Nominate Osvaldo Alonso and Will Johnson (the two players who committed the fouls in the All-Star game.
  • State that you are square with Porter now.
  • Have the pool sponsored by one of the club sponsors who donates X amount of dollars to the ALS Association. State that this sum will support the fight against ALS.
  • Publish the video on the webpage and all social media channels. Use hashtags plenty of hashtags, such as #IceBucketChallenge #ColdAsIce #ALS, and twitter handles to reply to Celeb Porter’s video.

Dear Pep Guardiola and Bayern Munich, you have just regained the respect and appreciation of 93% of all US soccer supporters, the remaining 7% probably support Borussia Dortmund.