NFL Announces Exclusive International Home Market Areas for 18 Teams

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 15, 2021

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27:  A general view of Wembley Stadium ahead of the NFL International Series game between San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on October 27, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Nicky Hayes/NFL UK - Pool /Getty Images)
Nicky Hayes/NFL UK - Pool /Getty Images

The NFL announced Wednesday that 18 teams have been given access to International Home Marketing Areas in eight different countries.

The league provided a map showing which teams have been assigned to which markets:

NFL345 @NFL345

.<a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a> Announces International Home Marketing Area Teams and Markets<br><br>For more information, click here: <a href="https://t.co/ooPlFa3XKX">https://t.co/ooPlFa3XKX</a> <a href="https://t.co/NvSU0wBVix">pic.twitter.com/NvSU0wBVix</a>

Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Spain and Australia are part of the initiative, which includes 26 different markets in those eight countries.

In a press release, the NFL noted that teams will be permitted to conduct "marketing, fan engagement and commercialization" in their designated areas.

Regarding the push to make more headway in international markets, NFL Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer Christopher Halpin said:

"NFL fandom begins with our clubs. This important initiative enables NFL teams to develop meaningful, direct relationships with NFL fans abroad, driving fan growth and avidity globally. We were very pleased with the number, creativity and level of commitment of club proposals across the board in this initial application period and look forward to teams launching their efforts early next year."

The league added that the participating teams will have five years of exclusivity in their international markets when it comes to "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."

Of the 18 teams involved, some of them were given the right to explore multiple markets.

The Minnesota Vikings will be in Canada and the UK, the Kansas City Chiefs in Mexico and Germany, and the San Francisco 49ers in Mexico and the UK.

The Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins will each have access to three markets, with the Rams in Mexico, Australia and China and the Dolphins in the UK, Brazil and Spain.

Making a concerted effort to increase the international popularity of the NFL is nothing new for the league.

With the exception of last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL has held at least one regular-season game in London every year since 2007. The league also held games in Mexico from 2016-19.

There are also plans in place to hold a game in Germany in either 2022 or 2023.

The NFL has tried to increase its overseas footprint with each passing year, and the NFL IHMA program is the latest example of the league's efforts.