New England Patriots enlist former soccer executive Bierhoff to advise on growth in Germany

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The New England Patriots have enlisted the former director of Germany’s national soccer teams to help them expand their fan base and business connections in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Oliver Bierhoff will serve as a business adviser for the NFL team, which has commercial rights in the region as part of the NFL’s “global markets” program.

The Patriots will play the Indianapolis Colts in Frankfurt on Nov. 12 in the second of two games the NFL is staging in Germany this season.

The team said Thursday that Bierhoff will advise on marketing, branding and business development.

Last December, Bierhoff resigned as managing director of the country’s national soccer teams and academy after Germany’s early exit from the men’s World Cup. He had a management role with the German federation for 18 years.

As a player, Bierhoff scored 37 goals in 70 games for Germany, including two as a substitute to help Germany defeat the Czech Republic 2-1 in the 1996 European Championship final.

Twenty-one NFL teams are participating in the NFL’s global markets program in 2023 across 14 countries.

Along with the Patriots, the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers have marketing rights in Germany.

The Patriots, Chiefs and Bucs also have rights in Austria and Switzerland.

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