As the anticipation builds for the kick-off of the 2023 NFL season, (American) football enthusiasts worldwide are gearing up to witness the high-octane clashes and electrifying plays that the league promises. With Super Bowl LVIII on the horizon, scheduled for February 11, 2024, in the vibrant city of Las Vegas, the excitement is palpable.
Amidst the intriguing lineup changes across the league’s 32 franchises, the spotlight is once again on the reigning champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. The dynamic duo of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce aims to defend their hard-earned title, igniting the hopes of fans as they commence their journey against the Detroit Lions.
Yet, it’s not just the gridiron action that’s captivating global attention. The NFL’s unparalleled popularity has paved the way for groundbreaking business endeavors, notably the league’s multi-million-dollar broadcast contracts. Collaborating with six prominent broadcast networks, the NFL has strategically positioned itself to deliver riveting content to over 170 countries during the regular season. Additionally, the highly anticipated Super Bowl LVIII is poised to captivate an audience in excess of 190 countries.
A testament to the NFL’s global resonance, Super Bowl LVII – a showdown ultimately clinched by the Chiefs – transcended geographical boundaries. With broadcasts available in more than 25 languages and partnerships with over 80 international networks, a staggering 56 million viewers around the world, excluding the United States, were enraptured by the spectacle. Notably, this marked a 7 per cent surge from the previous year, showcasing the league’s unwavering momentum on a global scale.
Among the international spectators, Mexico emerged as an unexpected front-runner in terms of live viewership, boasting an impressive 20.7 million fans. The enthusiasm was equally palpable in Canada, with 17.3 million viewers, and Brazil, where 2.5 million people tuned in. Evidently, American football and the NFL have found an ardent following well beyond North American borders.
The Southern Connection
Mexico’s fervour for the sport also led to a unique business opportunity for nine NFL teams. The Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, and San Francisco 49ers have been granted the privilege to market their merchandise within the country. This underscores Mexico’s status as a vibrant hub of NFL fandom, offering an intriguing avenue for teams to expand their global footprint.
As the NFL gears up for the 2023 season, the synergy between thrilling on-field action and strategic international partnerships continues to bolster the league’s stature as a global entertainment powerhouse. With the promise of Super Bowl LVIII’s grandeur drawing closer, the NFL’s unwavering commitment to providing top-tier content to audiences spanning the globe solidifies its position as an exemplar of successful sports business expansion.