The NFL American football league has added new clubs and new locations to its Global Markets Program for the second year of the initiative.
The New Orleans Saints have been granted international marketing rights in France, becoming the first NFL team to select and be awarded the French market. It also marks the Saints’ entry into the Global Markets Program.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will take on international marketing rights in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, complementing rights in Mexico which were received last year. The Jacksonville Jaguars will also expand their international rights beyond the UK for the first time with the addition of the Republic of Ireland.
The Atlanta Falcons have also become the fifth club to be granted international marketing rights in Germany in what marks the team’s entry into the initiative. The Falcons have links to Germany through Mercedes-Benz, which holds naming rights to the team’s stadium (pictured).
Three of the original clubs with rights in Germany – the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers – were granted rights in April to expand their presence beyond Germany to include Austria and Switzerland as part of the DACH region.
Germany staged its first-ever regular-season NFL fixture in November as Munich’s Allianz Arena welcomed a crowd of 69,811 to a game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seattle Seahawks.
The NFL had previously confirmed that Munich and Frankfurt would stage alternating games over the course of four years. Earlier this year, the league announced that Germany would stage two fixtures in 2023 with Mexico unable to host, and earlier this month it was confirmed that both games will be held at Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt.
The NFL announced in December 2021 that 18 of its teams had been granted access to 26 International Home Marketing Areas across eight different countries. Today’s (Tuesday’s) announcement means that 21 clubs will participate in the initiative, which has been renamed the Global Markets Program, across 14 international markets.
The initiative grants NFL teams access to international markets for marketing, fan engagement and commercialisation activations as part of a long-term strategic effort to build their brands globally and drive fan growth in the NFL outside of the US.
Peter O’Reilly, NFL executive vice-president of club business, major events and international, said: “We are thrilled to see the shared ambition of our teams in growing the NFL around the world, and this expansion demonstrates not only the momentum of the Global Markets Program as we head into year two, but the value the participating clubs are already seeing from this important initiative.
“We know that global fandom is accelerated through direct engagement with our clubs and players, and we are excited to see the continued impact of this program to reach and engage more fans and grow our sport at every level globally.”
NFL teams can apply for rights to selected international markets by submitting proposals for the international committee to review each spring. Teams are awarded rights for at least a five-year term through the initiative.