The NFL is currently the most popular sport in the United States. Outside of the United States is another story. Soccer, otherwise known as football, reigns king. The NFL may never be able to compete with soccer, but, they can surely benefit from strengthening their global brand. By strengthening their global brand they can potentially gain more viewers, which in turn will lead to more profits. The best way to do this is to gain more exposure in other markets around the world. So, here are some ideas that the NFL should consider to continue strengthening its global brand.
As it currently stands, the NFL has expanded into the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Canada. Thus far, the United Kingdom has been the most popular country to host games. Games hosted in these countries have typically been met with success. Which is why the NFL has been getting accustomed to playing more international games in the past few years. Except for this current year during the pandemic.
The NFL should not only continue to tap into these existing markets to play future games but they should venture into new markets. Tapping into their existing global markets can serve to strengthen their brand amongst existing consumers, but new markets can help attract new consumers. A big market like China would be an optimal choice. Back in 2007, the NFL was supposed to play a game in China, however, the game never materialized (Wikipedia, 2021). China is a big market and tapping into it can only help to increase brand recognition amongst consumers who probably don’t know too much about the NFL.
When expanding into new countries the NFL must engage with their new potential consumers. They can do this by doing some pop-up promotions. These pop-ups must serve two purposes: to be informational and fun. They should include games for both kids and adults and they should have guest appearances by popular players. Also, it is worth noting that the NFL should not make the mistake of carrying over the same strategy in each market they choose to expand to. Adjustments should be made to account for cultural differences to ensure that the NFL brand is welcomed and not ridiculed for being culturally insensitive.
One of the next logical steps to making the NFL a global brand would be to field an international team. They can do this by relocating a team or creating a new one. The former is the most logical choice. It has been rumored for the past few years that a team may be coming to London soon (Scott, 2016). The only way the NFL can strengthen or become a global brand is by having their service (entertainment) be more accessible. Fans can stream the games via NFL Sunday ticket but there is no substitute for the real thing and exhibition games can only do so much to keep international fans engaged.
In conclusion, if the NFL wants to help strengthen their global brand they need to continue expanding into new markets, engage with their target consumers in these new markets, and field an international team.
“List of National Football League Games Played Outside the United States.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Feb. 2021, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_National_Football_League_games_played_outside_the_United_States.
Scott, Jason. “NFL to London? Team Could Relocate by 2022.” Athletic Business, Jan. 2016, www.athleticbusiness.com/stadium-arena/nfl-to-london-team-could-relocate-by-2022.html.