Spain, Brazil likely to enter NFL fold


NFL to expand overseas Image: Coliseum GSVA

The National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell has confirmed that the league will stage a regular season game in a new host country in 2024.

‘sky sports’ stated that the above development comes a year after the league introduced Germany as a host partner alongside the United Kingdom (UK) and Mexico as the NFL poster boy Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to victory over their peer team the Seattle Seahawks in Munich (Germany).

New York (US)-based the National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league that consists of 32 teams, divided equally between the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference.

‘sky sports’ further stated that Spain and Brazil have recently emerged as possible candidates to enter the fold, with Commissioner Goodell stating that a decision is close to being made.

Stated Goodell, “We’re looking and analyzing where we go next year. We will certainly go to a new market next year for sure. We’re debating on that and I think we’ll have a decision in the next 30-45 days. So, we’ll be ready to. I think that’ll be exciting for us.”

The Miami Dolphins are currently affiliated with both Spain and Brazil as part of the NFL’s Global Marketing Program, while the Chicago Bears also own rights to market in Spain.

The Global Markets Program grants the NFL clubs access to international areas for marketing, fan engagement and commercialization as part of the NFL’s long-term plan to spread the game and their brand globally.

With the league’s growing presence overseas have come comparisons to Formula One’s global presence as it delivers its sport from City to City across the world. Goodell agreed with the likening and insists further progress is still to come.

London (UK)-based Formula One is the highest class of international racing for open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950.

Paris (France)-based the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) is an association established on June 20th, 1904 to represent the interests of the motoring organizations and motor car users. It is the governing body for many auto racing events, including Formula One. The FIA also promotes road safety around the world.

London, Germany, Mexico. Spain? Brazil? The interested parties are forming a queue, Ireland notably among those eyeing a game of their own such is their relationship with the NFL team Pittsburgh Steelers.

Added Goodell, “I actually went to my first F1 race in Montreal (Canada) back in June and just to see and experience what we could learn from it (was great). When we expanded our regular season from 16 to 17 games we talked at one time about whether the 17th game would be all international games. We didn’t feel we were in that position, because we didn’t feel we had the markets developed enough for that. And so I think this is something that will get a lot more attention but I do expect to expand in regular game series quite dramatically.”

The NFL team Jacksonville Jaguars made history in October as they became the first team to play back-to-back games overseas by facing their peer teams the Atlanta Falcons and the Buffalo Bills on a two-week road trip in London (UK), the reward being two victories amid what has since become a five-game winning streak.

Last year had seen the league achieve the clean sweep in the United Kingdom when the Green Bay Packers became the 32nd and final franchise to play across the pond, ultimately falling to their peer team the New York Giants at the 62,850-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England.

While travel requirements and changing time zones remain topics of conversation, the feedback over international games continues to be positive. Positive feedback serves as a springboard for further growth.

Continued Goodell, “I think they (team owners) completely understand the potential of it. Every one of our teams has played an International Series game, every one of them comes back with the exact same reaction and there’s clearly something powerful here. And there’s an opportunity for us to become a global sport. I think the debate is, how fast and what we do to sort of accelerate that growth. But that’s healthy debate, that’s what we expect to have. How we make decisions is making sure we hear all the different perspectives including the people on the ground. We have made it clear to our ownership that we think this is a unique time in our history and to advance our growth particularly. I think it may be the singlemost important growth moment in our history. Because we now get a chance to share our game.”

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