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CANCELED: Expanding European Football in the Americas – A Conversation with FC Bayern Munich and Bundesliga

Americas Society / Council of the Americas

March 4, 2019



This event has been canceled due to inclement weather.

This event is open to the public, but prior registration is required. 

Join Young Professionals of the Americas (YPA) for a conversation with FC Bayern and Bundesliga on the expansion of European football into the Americas. Panelists will discuss the strategies for building a profile in North and Latin America, addressing the opportunities and challenges for growth of European football, or fútbol, in the region. The conversation will be moderated by Colombian national team player and Olympian, Melissa Ortiz.


  • Melanie Fitzgerald, Head of Americas, Bundesliga
  • Benno Ruwe, Head of Partnerships, FC Bayern Munich
  • Melissa Ortiz, Colombian national team player and Olympian (Moderator)


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About the Speakers

Melanie Fitzgerald is Head of Americas for Bundesliga International based out of New York City, which opened its doors in October 2018. The new regional hub will oversee the league’s media and marketing operations in North, Central and South America. Melanie began her career in soccer at United Soccer Leagues, where she oversaw management for the leagues national youth and women’s pro-am programs.  Following her stint at USL, she transitioned to Women’s Professional Soccer where she led all league operation and marketing initiatives.  In 2012, Melanie moved to New York City to work with Major League Soccer, in which she managed marketing, promotion and business development for the international division of Soccer United Marketing.  Most recently she served as Director of international media for Major League Soccer where she was responsible for all distribution outside of the US and Canada.

Benno Ruwe joined FC Bayern Munich in October 2010 as Key Account Manager responsible for several partners of FC Bayern including Allianz SE, Paulaner, Siemens and Yingli amongst others. In his role he also worked on projects like the UEFA Champions League Final in Munich in 2012 and FC Bayern’s first pre-season summer tour to China in 2012. In April 2014 Mr. Ruwe took the role of Senior Project Manager at FC Bayern’s new office in New York and got promoted to Head of Partnerships in October 2016. In his current role he is responsible for developing partnerships with new and existing partners as well as executing events and marketing initiatives helping to raise the brand awareness of the club in the US & the Americas. Prior to joining FC Bayern Munich, Mr. Ruwe worked five years at a sports marketing agency in Munich working with clients like Allianz and FIFA. Benno Ruwe studied Sports-Economics at the University of Bayreuth, Germany.