NFL Announces International Marketing Areas

NFL in the United Kingdom
NFL in the United Kingdom
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 15 - The NFL has announced that 18 teams have been granted access to 26 international marketing areas across eight different countries.

"This ground-breaking, new initiative grants clubs access to international territories for marketing, fan engagement and commercialization as part of an important, long-term, strategic effort to enable clubs to build their global brands while driving NFL fan growth internationally," the NFL said in a statement.

"As part of the International [Home Marketing Area] program, clubs will have access to international markets for at least a five-year term, during which a club will have rights to pursue activities in that international market that are consistent with what they can do in their domestic HMA. This includes in-person and digital marketing, corporate sponsorship sales, fan events and activations, youth football activities, merchandise sales and co-marketing relationships with other sports and entertainment properties in the market."

The following map shows which NFL teams have been assigned to which international markets:


12 comments, Last at 17 Dec 2021, 3:37am

#1 by fynsta // Dec 15, 2021 - 3:10pm

Funny, how Germany got Chiefs, Bucs and Patriots, otherwise known as the three teams with the best odds to the Super Bowl this year.

Now compare that to the UK. Looks like Germany is a more important growth market for them?

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#5 by Goepfi // Dec 16, 2021 - 5:41am

Being from Germany (and longtime 49ers Fan) it's obvious why they choose those teams.

Besides the Seahawks and Packers they are the most popular teams here, with Mahomes and Brady.

Bascially every week you can see their games on german free-tv.

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#2 by Joey-Harringto… // Dec 15, 2021 - 6:01pm

I notice the Lions didn’t get assigned to any countries.  Probably because most countries would would see Lions fandom being imposed on them to be an act of war.

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#3 by rpwong // Dec 15, 2021 - 8:15pm

I think the Chargers were also left out. Weird.

In Canada, our TV network coverage is typically based on which teams are geographically closest, so in British Columbia we get all of the Seahawks games. There are a lot of Buffalo fans in Toronto, and I know some long-suffering Lions fans from Windsor (across the lake from Detroit). I think Atlantic Canada gets the Patriots.

I wonder if the coverage will change to reflect this marketing campaign. It's not as much fun supporting a team that you never get to see on TV.

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#10 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Dec 16, 2021 - 8:36pm

"I think Atlantic Canada gets the Patriots."

Yes, we do now, and have for quite a few years.  When the NFL first started to be shown on TV here, we mostly got Miami and Pittsburgh games.  Then it became Buffalo games throughout their Super Bowl years right up to the end of the Flutie era.  After that there was a very brief fling with the Giants before the local channels switched to the Brady & Belichick show and it's been New England games ever since.

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#4 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 15, 2021 - 9:11pm

This isn't clear in the official release, but it sounds like teams bid on the markets. Looks like teams had significantly differing views on the value of this exercise, with some high-profile, wealthy teams doing relatively little (Cowboys, Patriots).

It's interesting that no one went for Japan. They might be (a very, very distant) third in the world, after USA and Canada, in terms of actual participation in the sport. I knew someone whose brother played in college - due to language and unfamiliarity with the sport on their part, I never quite narrowed down whether he was a LB or a DB, but we worked out the conversion and he was like 5'7", 120 lbs, so either way it's a rather different game lol.

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#7 by DisplacedPackerFan // Dec 16, 2021 - 5:35pm

The bidding part clears up some of my confusion as to what teams where where. I made a text list with all the teams. There are some big market teams, and some big fan base teams that didn't get anything. It's interesting. LA and MIA both got 3 markets. Chicago, KC, Minnesota, and San Fran got 2 each. If I missed something I'll edit it in since I think this is handy.

  • ARI - Mexico
  • ATL -
  • BAL -
  • BUF -
  • CAR - Germany
  • CHI - UK, Spain
  • CIN -
  • CLE -
  • DAL - Mexico
  • DEN - Mexico
  • DET -
  • GB -
  • HOU - Mexico
  • IND -
  • JAX - UK
  • KC - Mexico, Germany
  • LAC -
  • LAR - Mexico, China, Australia
  • LV - Mexico
  • MIA - Brazil, UK, Spain
  • MIN - Canada, UK
  • NE - Germany
  • NO -
  • NYG -
  • NYJ - UK
  • PHI -
  • PIT - Mexico
  • SEA - Canada
  • SF - Mexico, UK
  • TB - Germany
  • TEN -
  • WAS -

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#9 by LionInAZ // Dec 16, 2021 - 6:10pm

My guess is that baseball is still king in Japan, and American football is way down the list of their sports interests.

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#6 by LondonMonarch // Dec 16, 2021 - 4:31pm

Another example of the NFL's weird central control. Why aren't all teams marketing in all areas they want to?

And strange that, eg, the Bills do not have Canada.

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#8 by Cythammer // Dec 16, 2021 - 5:44pm

The Bills have played home games in Canada before. But I guess they didn't prioritize bidding.

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#11 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Dec 16, 2021 - 8:40pm

Buffalo doesn't need to do anything to market in Canada other than remaining an easy day trip for Toronto NFL fans.  

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#12 by LondonMonarch // Dec 17, 2021 - 3:37am

Text of the article suggests that these deals allow "in-person and digital marketing, corporate sponsorship sales, fan events and activations, youth football activities, merchandise sales and co-marketing relationships with other sports"

Is it really the case that without this deal the Bills can't do those things in Toronto or Hamilton?

If no, and they still can, what is the point in this deal?

If yes, and they are now (or were all along) restricted, how is that conceivably in the interests of the NFL?

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