The NFL has been recognized in the professional sports industry as the most successful League in revenue and commercial impact. The NFL knows that, in order to continue growing at its expected rates, the international market is fundamental, and in recent years they have implemented strategies to achieve their objectives. In his conversation with SiS in our new podcast ‘SiS Masters’, Brett Gosper, head of the NFL in Europe, shares some very interesting information about the League’s internationalization plans and his goals.
ABOUT THE NFL BUSINESS
The NFL is financially the most successful professional sports organization in the world. According to Forbes, the average value of franchises increased 14 percent year over year and a median value of $3.5 billion. The sale of the Denver Broncos to an investment group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton for $4.65 billion set a record price for an American sports franchise. To give more context to this growth, previous owner Pat Bowlen bought the Broncos for $78 million in 1984.
The NFL’s broadcast rights deals with five different broadcasters, which run through the 2033 season, will fetch $110 billion over 11 years. Why is this happening? Among other reasons, in the United States, in 2021, 75 of the 100 most watched broadcasts were League games.
One of the most interesting aspects is that Amazon Prime has the exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football games in the United States, and this has led to a new multi-year deal between Amazon Prime and DirecTV that will see the cable TV provider satellite broadcasts TN games in more than 300 thousand bars, restaurants and other businesses in the United States.
There is no doubt that the domestic market is huge and there is room for growth, but at the level of fans, this will mainly come from international markets. Brett Gosper told SiS that the NFL expects a huge increase in fans from the international market: “The next 50 million NFL fans will come from outside the United States.”
To grow internationally, the NFL is developing games abroad. “I could say that one goal is to have games in other markets in Europe. But having the games is not a goal, it’s a means to an end, it’s a tool that helps you grow the audience and attract fans. So Ultimately, the goal is fan base growth, which is what you want to do.” As a result, revenue will grow.
The NFL will have regular season games this year in Mexico, the United Kingdom and Germany. In the case of Germany, the decision was made after data showed that more Germans traveled to NFL games in London than anywhere else in continental Europe, and that the NFL is more widely watched in Germany than the NHL. in United States.
According to NFL data, Mexico is the second country in the world with the most fans of American football, with more than 48 million followers, of which a third are considered avid fans. In addition, it is the country with the highest percentage of women NFL fans in the world, with 48 percent of the current fans.
As an additional strategy, the NFL also granted 18 teams access to 26 ‘International Home Marketing Areas’ in eight countries. This innovative new initiative gives clubs access to international territories for marketing, fan engagement and merchandising as part of a significant long-term strategic effort to enable clubs to build their global brands while driving club growth. NFL fans internationally.
And these strategies are related to the League’s decision to extend the regular season to 18 games. In this way, the 32 teams will play at least one international game in the next eight seasons; the League will make every effort to have franchises play their international games at their IHMAs whenever possible.
To conclude, as with many leagues such as the Premier League or LaLiga, growth comes from internationalization, where you want to grow the brand, create heroes, generate love for the game, increase the fan base and the business will come.
A great example has been the Premier League. For the first time in history, international broadcasting rights for the English First Division exceed domestic ones. If you want to know more about these international strategies and what Brett Gosper is doing in NFL Europe, listen to the #SISMasters podcast.
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The NFL and its international plans