Where is there a large population that hasnt been exposed to much professional football up to this point? The answer is Europe. Thats where the NFL is looking to grow and expand. But there are some challenges. On the world sports market, American football faces competition from other more popular games in Europe such as soccer and rugby. In Europe, there is no grassroots base of young fans and high school and college football players like we have in North America.
But there are resources available. The NFL can take advantage of many existing soccer stadiums as well as stadiums constructed for past Olympic Games. The NFL has set up an office in London to generate broadcasting and licensing deals there. People with expertise in knowing how European consumers want to be entertained can help the NFL gain more market share. Specific European sponsorship deals, broadcast agreements, and promotional opportunities are all being planned.
The CFL is the professional footba league in Canada. Nine teams currently make up the league. There are differences in the rules between the NFL and CFL games. Sometimes NFL players have moved to play in the smaller CFL market with great success.
LOOKING TO LONDON
The International Series is a special annual NFL game that has been held since 2007. It started as a single game held in London but was expanded to two games in 2013, and there are plans to add a third in the near future. In this series, four NFL teams play in two regular season games at Wembley Stadium. Both 2013 games sold out weeks before they took place. Its a good sign that football might just find a strong market in Europe.
Do you think one day there will be NFL teams in European cities? One thing is for sure. As long as consumers like you keep watching and cheering on your favorite teams, there will be an NFL and, of course, a Super Bowl.
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