The National Football League (NFL) is considered the strongest, most lucrative, and financially resilient professional sport globally. While the NFL has been a huge success in the United States, exporting American football to other countries has not had the same success. NFL Europa was launched with the aim of introducing the sport to European countries but after facing 15 years of financial losses, the NFL Europa program ended in 2007. NFL then launched the NFL International Series—a program primarily geared to export real NFL games overseas. While the program is still young, it yields promising results. NFL has pointed out that education is the key in acquiring potential ...view middle of the document...
Since 2007, the NFL International Series has gained popularity and generated excitement among hundreds of thousands of overseas spectators (NFL Europa Closes, 2012). The new strategy has a much lower overhead, and a much larger scope of potential fans. The NFL had to find a way to enter the global market, without the massive losses they experienced with NFL Europa.
One of the greatest obstacles that the NFL has had in introducing football globally is that many people outside of the United States and Canada find the rules complex and confusing. To help teach people more about football, the NFL designed an interactive website platform which teaches fans the fundamentals of American football (Hardcastle, 2012). The website seeks to directly address the queries, making it highly interactive. This website also serves as a foundation for advertising and promotional decisions; it can show executives which areas of the world are visiting the site, and showing interest in football which helps for deciding which venues to select for future NFL International games. The website also assists in identifying individuals with similar characteristics that have significant implications for the determination of marketing strategies; market segmentation (Market Segmentation, 2002-2010).
The major environmental challenges which have hindered NFL’s popularity and support among other countries are culture and competition. In cross-border business, we step into different cultural environments characterized by unfamiliar languages and unique value systems, beliefs, and behaviors. We encounter customers and business partners who display differing lifestyles, norms, and consumption behaviors. (Cavusgil , Riesenberger & Knight, 2008)
The appeal of American football has varied from country to country as a function of cultural differences. Most Europeans view the sport as a perversion of soccer. It represents the American headstrong attitude, with emphasis on violent conflict. From the perspective of many Europeans, the NFL tried to push an inferior product on a market long loyal to soccer (Cavusgil , Riesenberger & Knight, 2008). Most people consider that American football reflects the American culture and tends to create its own identity separate and distinct from other sport cultures all over the world. Football is “America’s Game”.
Football in America is closely associated with working-class communities, the ready-made tableau of small towns throughout the South or Midwest where collective esteem rises or falls according to how the local team did. This isn't always how it works elsewhere. In England, for example, there remain pockets of middle-class NFL fans that turned to the sport after the hooliganism of the 1980s left them alienated from soccer. In rural China, the NFL's flag football initiatives have helped democratize the playground; nobody grows up playing the sport, so there's no natural hierarchy. They can all — boys and girls — be...