Should The NFL have an international team
Debate Rounds (5)
Round 1: ACCEPTANCE ONLY
Round 2: Arguments
Round 3: Ask CX
Round 4: Answer CX
Round 5: Conclusion
I noticed on the subway that European fans were wearing jerseys from many different NFL teams. So I decided to ask them how they became fans. To my surprise, many of them discovered NFL football in three ways: While attending college in the states, while living/working in the states for a short period, and by picking the games up on satellite and watching them with American friends abroad. None of the Europeans I spoke to last year became fans because of the London game itself.
Marc Reeves, NFL International Commercial Director, told me at a conference last month that he does have a gargantuan task selling the NFL product abroad. He said to me, "my team and I have the job of pushing the boulder up the mountain. Our gains may not be noticeable but they are there and it will take some time to be significant." Yes it will! Most likely, it may take ten to twenty years to build a mass fan base.
Although the London game itself is the tent pole for selling the NFL product abroad, much more has to be done on a grass roots level to create a real and ever lasting interest abroad.
Some Europeans I met became NFL fans from their exposure to NFL Europe. The Europe league didn"t make the large-scale impact the NFL hoped it would, however, it was still cultivating and educating fans. Several fans told me they would go just to see the cheerleaders, do the wave and watch the kicks. Yes, that"s right, the kicks and punts were the most popular plays to many foreign fans. Most Europeans grew up kicking a soccer or rugby ball so it"s a skill they appreciate and can relate to. The loudest cheers I ever heard at the NFL Europe games I attended were always associated with kicks and punts.
If a team was in, for example London, other than maybe one road game if the NFL added a team in say, Dublin, would be a long flight to the States and then back for home. And, unless they have 8 road, bye week, 8 home, something the NFL would never do; that would happen multiple times a season. As a result of those flights it would be hard for the team(s) to sign free agents due to jetlag.
Most people don't understand the game, and if they do, they should move to 'MERICA!
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