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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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NFL’s Global Reach Expands: Four Teams, Five New Markets

  • Only seven of the league’s 32 teams are not participating with 19 countries.
  • The program started with 18 teams in eight countries.
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL program that allows teams to market overseas is expanding by four teams and five new markets, leaving only seven of the league’s 32 teams not participating with 19 countries now part of the initiative. The league made the announcement at the owners’ annual meeting in Orlando.

Before the program’s inception in 2022, NFL teams were not allowed by league rules to market overseas, with the exception of the Jaguars in the U.K. The program started with 18 teams in eight countries. 

New this year are the Giants with Germany; the Lions with rights to Austria, Canada, Germany, and Switzerland; the Colts with Austria and Germany; and the Browns with Nigeria, which is a new market.

The other four new markets are Japan and South Korea—claimed by the Rams, who also have China—and Argentina and Colombia, both claimed by the Dolphins.

There are now 10 teams with rights to Germany, which has hosted widely successful games over the last two years. That equals Mexico as the most in any market.

The dedication to the markets vary widely. Some clubs are content with fan clubs and hosting a flag football clinic, while others like the Chiefs spend seven figures alone in Germany. But teams are stepping up to add new markets. 

In addition to the new teams and markets, several clubs added existing markets to their portfolio: 

  • Rams: Have Australia, China, Mexico, and New Zealand, adding South Korea and Japan
  • Dolphins: Have Brazil, Spain, and the U.K., expanding to Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico
  • Patriots: Have Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, adding Brazil
  • Jets: Have rights in the U.K., adding Ireland
  • Steelers: Have Mexico and Ireland (both Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), expanding to Germany
  • Seahawks: Have Canada, expanding to Austria, Germany, and Switzerland

Teams are not guaranteed when they play overseas to compete in one of their global market territories, said Peter O’Reilly, the NFL executive vice president of international events, though that is what the league will try to do. Beginning next year, the NFL will play up to eight games per year outside the U.S. The seven teams not in the global program are the Bengals, Bills, Chargers, Commanders, Packers, Ravens, and Titans.

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