NFL Including Games for Germany
Wednesday saw a major announcement from the NFL regarding International Series games. The league said that they have launched a process to identify a partner city in Germany for some regular-season games.
Previous involvements with the International Series include 28 games in London, England since 2007, but more are to come with two located at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this season. And, starting in 2022, up to four neutral-site games per year will be scheduled outside the U.S.
According to the head of NFL UK and Europe Brett Gosper, “The International Series has become a highlight of the sporting calendar in the UK, with many fans traveling from Germany to attend. We are very excited about the development of our German fan base, and the time is right to identify a partner who can execute a game at NFL standards as part of our international growth strategy.”
There have been other sites that have had the privilege of hosting an NFL International Series regular-season game, such as Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, and Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Being able to host an International Series game gives cities a platform to showcase themselves to the world, as they also welcome the NFL’s unique and vibrant mix of intense competition, high levels of athleticism and physicality, entertainment, and fan engagement.
The engagement from fans has been consistently growing within Mainland Europe, and nowhere is that boost more prominent than in Germany. In the NFL.com article published Wednesday, “The process follows a number of strong years of fan growth in Germany. Weekly NFL television viewership on partners ProSieben and DAZN has grown by more than 20 percent annually since 2017, and millions of fans tuned in for Super Bowl LV, making it the third consecutive season of record German Super Bowl viewership. Germany is a leading market outside North America for NFL Shop sales, fantasy football participation, and sales of the Madden NFL Video Game.”
Owners of NFL teams recently displayed their excitement for international growth by passing a new idea saying that, at the start of the 2022 season, all 32 clubs will play at least one International Series game every eight years in order to ensure diversity of participating clubs and long-term inventory. Also included in the deal is that four neutral site games per year will be scheduled outside of the U.S.
The NFL has seen a spike in interest in Europe, and the International Series is a greater way to boost engagement of fans and make the sport more globally diversified.