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How Borussia Dortmund's merch site handles floods of football fans

Borussia Dortmund logo on green background

If there’s one thing you can say about football fans, it’s that they’re passionate. They’re dedicated to their chosen team and want to show their support whenever they can. And with almost 160,000 members and the highest average attendance of any football club in the world, Borussia Dortmund (BVB) was no exception.


But sometimes the level of fan interest was so high that their website couldn’t cope. That was the case for two of their product launches. First, the organization released their latest merchandise (a face mask) and sent fans email newsletters about the release. This immediately brought high levels of traffic to their FanShop that their infrastructure couldn’t handle. Next, they had a surprise launch of their latest kit (standard team attire) – only announced when the football team took off their jackets before the kick-off of a match. That also proved extremely popular.

"The guys just took off their jackets before kick-off and when the kit became visible that was the moment everyone jumped on our website, and we had the same situation that we had with the masks. The website was down for hours and that’s what we want to avoid in the future."

Matthäus Franke, Head of Ecommerce, BVB Merchandising (Borussia Dortmund)


While they tried to add more servers to support their system, autoscaling itself can be technically challenging and doesn’t always solve site bottlenecks like payment gateways. BVB knew they needed a solution to help maintain their website during traffic peaks. One that would only allow in as many fans as their infrastructure could support and prevent them from overselling products. Through past experiences and discussions with colleagues in footwear, BVB decided to try out Queue-it’s virtual waiting room for their FanShop.


In order to not fall victim to their own success and give fans the website experience they deserve, BVB decided to implement Queue-it for future product launches. Now they had support in place to keep their site up during unpredictable traffic spikes. Additionally, they could protect bottlenecks like checkout and payment gateways, and give fans an informed shopping experience, with wait times and product availability.

"The biggest benefit to Queue-it is that you really can manage how many people are on the site and to ensure everything works and the customer ultimately gets the product he or she has bought."

Matthäus Franke, Head of Ecommerce, BVB Merchandising

About Borussia Dortmund (BVB)

Founded in 1909, Borussia Dortmund (BVB) is a German professional sports club, best known for its men's professional football team, which plays in the Bundesliga, the top tier of the German football league system. BVB has also cultivated a reputation for spotting and developing young talent and has remained focused on developing a youth system.

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