Kasper met with a number of people, including heads of the Chinese Football Association (CFA), fans, members of the media and Bundesliga partners, visiting the Bundesliga office in Beijing, all with the aim of identifying possible approaches for globalisation measures, both for VfB and for the Bundesliga in general.
There were also celebrations in China for the 60th anniversary of the Bundesliga, which was the first foreign league ever to be broadcast on television in the country. At the celebrations in Shanghai, Kasper got to talk with executives from the worlds of sport, media and politics in China, including the President of the CFA Song Kai, and the president of the official Bundesliga TV rights-holder MiGU, He Song.
Kasper, who is also spokesperson for the globalisation committee of the German Football League (DFL), additionally got to have talks with representatives from the largest football platform in China – Donggiudi – about the development of Chinese football and the potential to revive footballing cooperation between Germany and China. He also met with management from major VfB partners Mercedes and Porsche, to sound out mutual activities in what is one of the most highly populated countries on the planet.
Furthermore, Kasper’s trips also saw him involved in the official announcement of the ‘Bundesliga Dream’ project, which is looking to develop cooperation between German professional football and the CFA. This youth football development project is designed to give talented Chinese youngsters the chance to experience how training is carried out in Bundesliga youth academies and also to play against Bundesliga youth teams, whilst at the same time using football to build cultural bridges between Germany and China. VfB Stuttgart are very keen to be involved in an increasing number of intercultural sporting projects of this kind, thanks in no small part to the success of the visit over a number of days last year made by the Indian U17 side to VfB’s youth academy.
“China is one of the Bundesliga’s target markets and for many of our partners and sponsors, it is an important sales and production location,” Kasper explained. “This is what makes it important for us to develop and expand our network there, to open doors both for VfB Stuttgart and our partners and for the Bundesliga. We will continue to work towards globalisation based on our strengths and strive to create meaningful and sustainable partnerships as opposed to one-off PR activities, and the only way to do this is by both sides opening themselves up to the cultures and traditions of the other and by building up and maintaining personal relationships.”