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Prospect of London NFL Team Becoming ‘More and More Likely’

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Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts carries Britain's Union Jack as he enters the field before the Jaguars met the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL football game at Wembley Stadium in London, Oct. 27, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Toby Melville

“A London-based NFL team becoming a more and more likely prospect,” says Marketing Week, as American Football’s growth in popularity has seen the NFL expand its appeal around the world – not least in the United Kingdom, which now hosts three competitive games a year.

Ahead of the New York Giants’ clash with the LA Rams at Twickenham this Sunday, Marketing Week sat down with executives from the NFL, Gatorade and Twitter to assess the sport’s potential outside the United States as both a form of entertainment and a platform for brands.

They also debated how digital media has changed brand communications around sporting events, with Mark Waller, NFL executive vice-president of international, stating: “When I started in the NFL there was real concern that digital would fragment your audience, that audiences would dissipate and go off and do separate things. What we have seen is the opposite, it actually aggregates the audience.”

According to Tom Prochaska, director of sports marketing at NFL sponsor Gatorade, the biggest question for marketers is “how we spend our communication resources, our advertising dollars”. For the Pepsico-owned brand, which is the NFL’s oldest sponsor, the communications mix has “dramatically shifted” from being “fully invested” in network TV to digital and social media playing a bigger and bigger part.”

This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.

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