In our second blog post, I thought it would be great to congratulate the NFL on widening their transatlantic offering and exploring the potential on the European mainland.
The Allianz Arena, home to Bayern Munich, will play host to the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday 13th November. With the hangover of Oktoberfest in the rearview, the TB12 and the 12th man show rolls into town. Arguably, this is the highlight of the International Series line-up for 2022. Life after Wilson for Seattle and life with Tom at Tampa Bay, makes this much much more than an exhibition match.
Ok, so why choose Germany? Well, if you cast your minds back to when the NFL first set their sights on Europe with the inaugural European American Football league – the Frankfurt Galaxy were four times winners from 1995 to 2007. That legacy has remained and the appetite now for gridiron back in Germany is huge. In fact, Frankfurt were one of the three German cities up for consideration when selecting a destination. Germany also has an established league format comprising of 16 teams across two divisions. American football is here and here to stay.
From a purely logistical viewpoint, Germany is in the centre of European meaning that other mainland countries have easy access to Munich via all means of transport. It also means that fans can either stay and enjoy the city’s hospitality or make plans to get home after the game. It’s a lot more accessible than flights to foggy London town….
From a business perspective, the NFL have already established themselves in their ‘home across the pond’ in the English capital. Saying that there is a whole world out there and the powers that be are keen to widen the message of American football. NFL is the second most watched US sport in Germany with an increasingly growing fanbase. You only have to go to Wembley stadium for the International Series games to hear accents from Dresden, Dortmund and Hamburg.
The German fans are knowledgeable, passionate and most importantly loyal to the sport. I have no doubt this will be a successful venture for the NFL and may prove to be a key case study for the growth of American Football in Europe.
So, Seattle and Tampa Bay (will the burnt orange uniforms make an appearance?) will light the touchpaper in November but it wont be long until the Commish et al are getting the map ready to select their next European odyssey.
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