Good news for all NFL teams with foreign marketing rights!

As Sports Business Journal reported, from June 16, they can sell sportsbook sponsorships to any legal gambling operator in their respective countries, as part of a chain of changes enacted today, June 16, to provide the aforementioned NFL teams with more opportunities to earn money and recruit new fans abroad. However, before today, teams in the NFL’s Global Markets Program were only allowed to sell sponsorships to sportsbooks with league-level contracts, which is one company each in most markets.

A decent step towards better monetization:

This new step won’t radically change the short-term income predictions the teams have for the program. However, two team sources said “it was a good step toward better monetization. Gambling is a more mature category in most non-US states, and the operators have experience with using sports brands to drive market share.”Additionally, in this regard, NFL GM/Sports Betting David Highhill, said: “Unlike some other sponsorship categories, in sports betting, so much of the entertainment is tied to the live game itself, and we think that’s a key part of driving engagement and fans growth abroad.”

However, the newest rule change begins now for Germany, Mexico, Austria, Canada, France, Ghana, Spain and Switzerland and won’t take effect until 2024 in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

New changes to the other two rules:

Two more rule changes were executed today:

  • At NFL games in Great Britain, Germany and Mexico, teams active in those countries will now receive extra commercial rights to the stadium space, which was controlled by the NFL itself;
  • The NFL”s “Fan of the Year” program will go global. For that, the teams will choose their overseas fan of the year, and the league will choose one of those nominees to announce as the overall international fan of the year. As a result, the winner will be honored at the draft and this will take place separately from the state competition.

The NFL’s Global Markets program:

The NFL’s Global Markets program officially began in 2022 and now involves 21 teams in 14 different countries. Many owners and executives feel optimistic about the possible long-term strategic payoff abroad despite the weak short-term business outlook. However, recently some have have expressed dissatisfaction with how limited income opportunities have been. In this regard, one club director said: “All of us thought this would be more ripe.”

But the NFL seems content given the program’s youth. On that note, Bobby Gallo, NFL SVP/Club Business Development, said: “We believe we’ve seen strong momentum commercially through year one of the program. So far there have been 30 sponsorship deals executed by the 21 teams, 14 Fanatics e-commerce sites established in the new markets and 42 preseason games broadcast abroad.”