The National Football League (NFL) involves 32 franchises from across the United States, and since 1967, every Super Bowl – the final championship game in the league – has been played in North America.
To promote the NFL to a wider audience, over the last couple of decades, the league has stepped up its efforts to promote their league to a wider international audience, and they have had a lot of success in that journey. In 2024, it is expected that there will be eight regular season games played outside of the USA, with matches coming in Brazil, Germany, and the UK.
NFL International Fans Are Latching onto 49ers and Jaguars
Due to their success in the 1980s and 1990s, the San Francisco 49ers are one of the best-supported teams in the NFL in the USA and abroad. They are -110 in the NFL betting to win the NFC Championship and book their ticket to the Super Bowl.
The 49ers are the +225 favorites in the Super Bowl 2024 odds for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Should they get there, the game will be played at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on February 11, not far from the home state.
You sea us 👀 #FTTB
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 11, 2023
San Francisco was one of the first teams to play in London at Wembley Stadium in front of UK-based NFL fans. In 2022, they also traveled to Mexico to play a regular season game against the Arizona Cardinals, winning that game 38-10. Those trips have helped their fan base grow further.
Another team that is proving popular with international NFL fans is the Jacksonville Jaguars. They have been the designated home team for many of the London games over the last few years, as a result, they have a marketing office in London. The Jaguars get involved in community events, run a fan club, and promote their franchise in the UK.
NFL Network Streamed Around the World
Catch all of these games this Sunday exclusively with @NFLonDAZN!
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) December 15, 2023
With the help of the NFL Network, a 24-hour channel dedicated to the NFL, fans of the league can follow the latest news around the league. Outside the USA, fans can purchase a “game pass” which covers them for the whole season with a subscription to the service which can be accessed through DAZN. Not only does this give them the NFL Network, but they can choose which matches to stream on their mobile device on game day.
The NFL also creates dedicated programs for different markets around the world. For example, they have Spanish-speaking documentaries and news updates for their fans in Mexico and Spain.
Merchandise Available for Fans
As for all sports teams and clubs around the world, selling merchandise is a key marketing method. Rather than international sports fans relying on merchandise to be sent out from the United States, they can purchase through their local market on the NFL app.
NFL Shop Europe is a great example of this. It means the merchandise can be purchased in the local currency and it arrives to the customer much faster than it would if it was shipped across the Atlantic.
If the NFL continues to pick up further supporters around the world, it may not be long before the first franchise from outside of the USA enters the league.