It is clear that the NFL has an agenda to spread their brand overseas. The NBA already generates a ridiculous amount of money with their internatonal brand, but that’s made easier by the global nature of the game and the varied nationalities of its players. The NFL, however, is taking it one country at a time with a few regular season games landing in London up until now.
The latest quote from Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan reveals the next country possibly on the NFL’s radar with a trip to Ireland. Mike Freeman of CBS Sports reports that Khan said the Emerald Isle could be a future destination for games, presumably in Dublin. While that’s officially outside of the UK, it would extend the brand to the Western-most fringes of Europe.
But would that be a wise move? Such an experiment might work for a preseason or exhibition game of some kind, but routine is key in the NFL and such interruptions are usually not welcome by team staff and execs. While the owner cashes a check, the rest of the team and fan base must roll with the punches — like the St. Louis Rams being subjugated to seven home games the next three years while they become London’s new “home” team.
Someone must pay the price to be the NFL’s ambassador to Europe and it will be one team’s fan base. Judging by the way certain franchises are looked upon, the Jags are candidates to go overseas themselves. Perhaps that’s why Khan was the messenger here.