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The NFL is Broadening its Global Markets Program, Evolving Into a Global Sport

NFL global sport
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In 2022, the National Football League launched its Global Markets Program. As the league looked to expand its fan base and become a global game, teams were awarded international marketing rights to build awareness and fandom outside of the U.S. utilizing fan engagement efforts, events, and commercial opportunities. The NFL has quickly begun turning into a global sport.

Beginning in 2024, the NFL announced that the program was expanding, adding four new clubs and five new markets. The Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, and New York Giants join the program as the NFL continues to grow in popularity within the U.S. and now into more countries worldwide. When the program began, clubs were awarded opportunities in 14 countries. With the expansion, comes an exciting opportunity for clubs to grow their fan bases in five more countries, Argentina, Colombia, Japan, Nigeria, and South Korea.

Peter O'Reilly, the executive vice president of club business, major events, and international at the NFL said "The Momentum of the Global Markets Program underscores the strong commitment of NFL clubs to growing the game and their passionate fan bases around the world. Clubs are seeing the value and opportunity in new markets and aligning with the league to accelerate that growth together."

In addition to the teams that are new to the program, the Rams, Dolphins, Patriots, Jets, Steelers, and Seahawks applied for and were granted expanded reach in their efforts to grow their team's fanbase as well as the fanbase of the NFL. O'Reilly added, " We can't wait to see the ongoing impact of the program on fandom and global growth in this season and in the years ahead, both in new and existing markets and via new clubs joining and active clubs deepening their strategic commitments."

The new markets joined the league and teams efforts to grow the game internationally into Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ghana, Mexico, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. As part of the expansion, the Rams, Dolphins, Patriots, Jets, Steelers, and Seahawks all applied for and were awarded expanded opportunities within the program to reach more countries.

With the popularity within the U.S. for the game of football, expanding and capitalizing on the popularity is a natural step in the ever-changing atmosphere of professional sports. The NFL has not only taken the reigns to be "America's Game" sorry baseball fans, but is quickly and successfully growing in its efforts to become a global game.


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