The commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell hopes the league’s annual revenue to reach $27 billion by 2027. But how will this milestone be achieved given that the NFL is primarily popular in the U.S. only?
The launch of XFL has increased the competition as well, making it challenging for the NFL to keep its market share. So, to counter that, it was necessary to explore a new market. The best move was to take the NFL globally.
There’s interest in Europe for the NFL, but the only constraint is the name. In the U.S., it’s known as American football, whereas in Europe, football is a different sport. The NFL is massive in America, with over 200 million fans and $110 billion in broadcasting rights, which are growing every year. Similarly, the interest from fans and viewership has been growing, as we can see a rise in teams’ social media accounts and viewership.
The first match staged in Europe was in London in 2007. Since then, there have been 33 regular matches. The warm welcome influenced the NFL to build a stadium in collaboration with Tottenham and installed a retractable purpose pitch with massive locker rooms. However, the most frequent visitors are Jackson Jaguars, who have played eight matches and will renew their partnership with Fulham.
Interest from Germany
Germany is the next location in Europe with a high interest in the NFL. There has always been a high demand for NFL games. When the NFL Europe was active, there were five Germany-based teams, so it’s enough evidence to prove the Germans’ love for the game.
The stadiums in Germany are ideal for NFL matches. The country’s infrastructure is similar to the Americas. In the last season, the streaming service Game Pass saw a spike of 125% because of German subscribers.
As a result, the NFL promised to host four games in Germany, two in Frankfurt, and two in Munich each season. In November 2022, Tampa Bay Buccaneers played against Seattle Seahawks, which sold out.
International expansion of the NFL
International expansion is inevitable. All the NFL teams have to play 17 games after new changes, with at least four games each season outside America, including Canada and Mexico.
It has given a fascinating opportunity to the franchises and online sportsbook makers to explore. It will greatly impact the business as more fans will take an interest in games and in the NFL odds to win money. Eighteen teams grabbed this opportunity and went across eight countries to test the international market.
There’s growth and interest from the fans, so the chances of hitting the annual revenue of $27 billion are real and achievable. As more teams look to spread their wings and host matches at new places, more money will flow into the NFL.
Response of the financial market to the NFL expansion
The NFL is building its reputation in international markets. People from Germany and the UK have shown interest in NFL betting and actively purchase official merchandise. Apart from these regions, the NFL has intrigued France, Italy, and Switzerland.
The sport, which is highly influenced by American values, philosophy, and norms, is tough to bring to unfamiliar cultures. There were, however, exceptional difficulties in bringing a league to new markets that were not only geographically distant but also culturally diverse. It’s no longer just a North American league. It has become a global brand, a global phenomenon, and a world-class league.
Which teams are most popular in Europe?
The best metric to judge the popularity of a team is by reviewing the following social media following. The inflow of traffic from parts of Europe helps in identifying the popularity.
The Dolphins are the most famous NFL team in England. They first played in Wembley Stadium against the New York Giants in 2007. Although they lost the match, they have played the second most seven matches in Europe in a regular season. Facebook and Twitter audience shows the demographics of fans from England showing interest in the Dolphins’ activities.
No surprises with the Dallas Cowboys making it global. It’s one of the most valuable and successful teams in the NFL. Although their win at the Super Bowl came 25 years ago, they dominated the late 20th century when they won 10 conference titles. With over 11 million followers on Instagram and Facebook, their fan base reaches different parts of Europe.
New York Giants
The Giants have always been popular in the UK because of two reasons. One, they won the first-ever game played in England, and second, New York is one of the most visited tourist places for the people of the UK. In the most recent match, the Giants also beat the Packers, which increased their popularity.
Green Bay Packers
The history and philosophy of the Packers attract people to it. It’s the only nonprofit and community-owned team in the NFL and one of the oldest franchises. The Packers have had their fair share of success, particularly in the 60s when they won three straight championships and five in total. The Packers are also regular visitors in Europe and cementing their position as a global brand.