Every weekend of every NFL season, football teams play away from home. In the traditional sense, this perhaps means that Seattle will be hosted by San Francisco, Carolina will visit New York, or New Orleans will take the trip to Miami, and so on. For many decades, the NFL was very much a sport that was only watched in the US and perhaps Canada. Yes, there will have been a few in the American people abroad that would tune in if possible, but for all intents and purposes, this was a North American sport that was loved and revered across that continent and not elsewhere.
Over the last couple of decades however they NFL has been transformed in terms of its audience. Though the USA, of course, still hosts the most committed fanbase, the sport is now watched far afield, and not just by a few expat diehards not at all. These days, everywhere from the UK to Germany, Australia to Mexico an many countries in between have sports networks devoted to it and people everywhere are showing an interest in wagering on the winners. Backing your favorite team makes being a spectator massively more engaging and boosts your emotional investment, and as a result, there are many online betting platforms dedicated to following NFL odds, offering punters the chance to bet on games in real time.
So, with the growing number of sports networks with NFL channels and all weekly games broadcast live, the now ubiquitous online sports betting companies is offering American Football odds for everything from scores the league positions to Superbowl winners. With games now being played in Europe every single season, can we call this a global sport? Well, it is still played mainly in the US in terms of franchises, but we are focusing more on global audiences. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how this once US-only sport has garnered fans around the globe and reached a genuinely international audience.
International Fans Create Genuine Market For NFL Teams And Games
When the NFL game played outside the USA happened in 2005 it was hosted in Mexico City. To many at the time it was considered an affront to the sport and to US fans to do such a thing. Even so, the game attracted a full house of around 103,000 supporters and, according to reports from the organizers, could have sold twice as many tickets if the capacity had been there. This was a sign of things to come, as the NFL authorities suddenly realized the potential to grow audiences outside the homely confines of the traditional US markets. However, with so many global sports, many of which are also touring and performing internationally, how did the NFL manage to capture global attention so effectively?
What has become clear is that the NFL is wildly popular around the world After the roaring success of the Mexico City experiment the international NFL series concept was well and truly embraced. In subsequent years it has expanded to more games than ever, as international fans clamor for tickets when the games roll into town. Until 2011, the series was still only one game outside the US each season, usually in London. What became apparent, however, was that the international audience was there to be served. Tickets sold out in minutes, and promoters knew that expansion was inevitable. From 2013 onwards, the NFL started to play more and more games, and not just in London. Germany and a return to Mexico have all demonstrated that international fans are creating a genuine market for the NFL overseas.
Evolution And Expansion Showing NFL As Big Business For Global Sport
As we have discussed in the preceding sections, the NFL has become an far more internationally loved sport than could have been imagined just a couple of decades ago. To some, there is even the long-term potential to bring the NFL to China, but in the meantime, the marketing machine for the NFL is working on the further more imminent evolution and expansion of the NFL International Series model. It seems that this is a big business that NFL franchises would love to have a piece of.
So where are we heading with this continued search for global sporting domination? Well, the NFL has already introduced international marketing plans that are allowing individual franchises to do their own advertising, promotions and marketing in countries around the world. Multiple NFL franchises are now actively involved is promoting American Football in more and more nations, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Ghana, Ireland, Mexico New Zealand Spain Switzerland and the UK some of which have already hosted NFL games, and many of which are likely to do so in the future
When it comes to the business side of the NFL, this global growth and international match expansion is nothing but good news. On a commercial level, the demand is there. On a sporting level, the supporters are there. Put these two elements together and you will soon appreciate just how big the business potential is for a sport and a league that enjoys budgets in the billions and the revenue to match. With all this money, support, and growing fan base, I think it is fair to say that the NFL has gone well and truly global.