Corporate Eye

NFL Brand Expansion Across the Pond

In another attempt to expand global interest in American football, the BBC reports today that the NFL is in serious talks with London to host the Super Bowl in the not so distant future. 

This isn’t the NFL’s first attempt to boost interest in the sport to markets outside of the United States.  Over 80,000 people showed up to the NFL games played at Wembley Stadium in 2007 and 2008.  The question is whether or not that level of interest can be sustained (or grow) and how widespread that level of interest would be.

There is certainly money to be made by expanding the NFL globally.  The advertising opportunities alone are enticement enough for the NFL and sponsors to push hard for a stronger international presence.   Perhaps a bigger problem is the fact that Super Bowl games are rarely that exciting.  In fact, with a few rare (but welcomed) exceptions, one team typically dominates.  It’s not necessarily the best representation of the game.  But it’s certainly a good show!

And how much higher can players’ salaries go anyway?  How about reducing ticket prices? 

Okay, my consumer complaint is over.  Back to the subject of branding.

When a brand saturates its existing markets, the next logical steps are brand extensions and market expansions with new products and distribution.  The NFL is at stage 2.  Will it work?  What do you think?  Take the poll below, and then leave a comment to share your opinion with Corporate Eye readers.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.