June 16, 2023 3 min read

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NFL Expands Sponsorship Opportunities for Teams in Non-US Markets

This move marks a departure from the previous restriction that only allowed teams to sell sponsorships to sportsbooks with league-level deals, limiting options to a single company in most markets

In a bid to increase revenue and attract new fans worldwide, the NFL has announced significant changes to its Global Markets program, granting teams with foreign marketing rights greater flexibility in selling sportsbook sponsorships in their designated countries. Teams will now have the freedom to collaborate with any legal gambling operator operating within their respective countries.

International Rule Changes Open Doors for NFL Teams to Boost Revenue

Although this change is not expected to dramatically impact short-term revenue projections, team sources have lauded it as a positive step towards better monetization. Non-US countries typically have more mature gambling markets, and operators in these regions possess extensive experience in leveraging sports brands to capture market share. NFL General Manager of Sports Betting, David Highhill, emphasized the significance of live games in driving engagement and expanding the fanbase, particularly in the realm of sports betting, reported The Sports Business Journal.

Effective immediately, the rule change applies to Germany, Mexico, Austria, Canada, France, Ghana, Spain, and Switzerland. However, it will not take effect in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand until 2024.

In addition to the modification in sponsorships, two other rule changes have been implemented. NFL teams actively involved in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Mexico will now have additional commercial rights within the stadium area footprint, which was previously controlled solely by the NFL itself. This alteration provides teams with increased opportunities for branding and commercial partnerships within their local markets.

Furthermore, the NFL’s renowned “Fan of the Year” program will now be extended internationally. Teams will have the autonomy to select their own fan of the year abroad, and the league will subsequently choose one nominee as the overall international fan of the year, with the winner being honored at the draft. This initiative will run separately from the contest held within the US.

NFL’s Global Markets Program Shows Promise

The Global Markets program, which commenced in 2022, currently encompasses 21 teams spread across 14 countries. Despite modest short-term business prospects, many team owners and executives remain optimistic about the long-term strategic benefits of expanding the NFL’s reach abroad. 

The NFL highlighted several notable achievements, including the successful execution of 30 sponsorship deals by the participating teams, the establishment of 14 Fanatics e-commerce sites in new markets, and the broadcasting of 42 preseason games overseas. These milestones demonstrate the league’s commitment to expanding its presence and engaging with fans across the globe.

The positive news comes at a time when the NFL has been shaken up by gambling controversy. In response to violations of the NFL’s gambling policy, five players, including four from the Detroit Lions, received suspensions in April. Two players faced indefinite suspensions, while the others were suspended for six games each. Additionally, the league conducted an investigation into a player from the Indianapolis Colts, identified as Isaiah Rodgers, due to similar violations. Critics have also recently raised concerns about the NFL’s gambling policy as an unnamed star player allegedly lost $8 million from gambling on sports in 2022.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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