What Makes the NFL so Globally Appealing?

This article looks at the factors that combine to make the NFL such a globally appealing sport.

Mixed Reactions

For years the NFL, or to be more specific, American Football, has been one of the most polarizing sports in the entire world. Throughout this time, it has remained hugely popular in the United States, only in recent years beginning to truly break through and become something that the global sporting community is embracing with open arms. NFL has even begun to transcend sporting boundaries across the world and is now well-known even to those who show little to no interest in the sport itself.

We looked at why this is the case.

Iconic Team Names

Such is the recognition factor of some of the biggest teams in the sport that they have become household names across the world. Mention the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, or Miami Dolphins to anyone and they will instantly make the connection with American Football.

With the older generations having a link to those names, and others emerging for the younger generation such as the New England Patriots, NFL is starting to gain traction as a huge sport around the world.

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Worldwide Party People

Such is the popularity of the NFL that they now play one game per season at Wembley in London, with rumours that the number will increase in the near future. It isn’t as if they just turn up and play, either. All of the razzmatazz that accompanies an American fixture makes the trip across the Atlantic, from the awe-inspiring fireworks displays to the cheerleaders – even the teams themselves get some attention!

The growth of NFL popularity around the world has been so great that pubs and bars now hold their own parties and events across Europe when the fixtures are on live TV. In the past, this level of attention has traditionally only been reserved for “soccer.”

In Popular Culture

NFL has found its way into global popular culture, more so in recent years than ever before. While they are known for the spectacular fireworks displays, inspirational sporting theatre, and huge attendances, there is no question that the Super Bowl is what has elevated it to a globally huge level.

There is no doubt that they are helped by certain events taking place, whether it be a Janet Jackson wardrobe “malfunction” or a battle between Coca-Cola and Pepsi to secure the prime half-time advertising slot. The game itself tends to help to, with recent years proving that there is no substitution for real life sporting drama.

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