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February 9, 2024
Sports licensing is a very big and still-growing business. Grand View Research expects the sector to be worth $49 billion in 2030. The sector’s growth can be attributed to international-reach sports, the growing world of athletes who are celebrities and much more.
The National Football League (NFL) is no exception. With video game mainstays like “Madden NFL,” apparel and memorabilia sales and, of course, the Super Bowl, the NFL uses licensing to stay connected to fans worldwide throughout the year.
“The NFL’s global licensing strategy is founded on creating products and experiences that engage fans and drive revenue growth,” says Salha Latif, vice president, international consumer products, and Ryan Samuelson, vice president, retail, e-commerce, on-field consumer products, NFL, in a joint statement. “We need to be able to continuously serve and have accessible merchandise for our most
avid fans but also use licensing as a tool to bring in new fans – especially youth and across international.”
Focusing on the international market has proven fruitful for the NFL, which recently made the exciting announcement that the NFL will expand its current slate of four regular season games played internationally to up to eight games, starting in 2025. And in 2024, the NFL will host its first regular season game in São Paolo, Brazil.
“This allows us to expand our footprint across the world, to bring the NFL and its clubs to new markets – catering to existing fans and connecting with new ones,” says Latif. “The league has 38.3 million fans in Brazil, the second largest international fan base behind Mexico, so bringing a game to São Paulo is a very exciting step. By engaging with those directly in the market, we’re able to lean into that large number of NFL fans on a deeper level while continuing to interact with new fans of the sport as well.”
The NFL launched its Global Markets Program in January 2022, granting international marketing rights to teams to help build brand awareness and fandom around the world. Twenty-one teams participate across 14 markets in year two of the program.
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Digital Editor , License Global
Barbara Smith is a Digital Editor for License Global. Based in the U.S., while Barbara's remit is general news coverage, she enjoys focusing on apparel, travel and social media throughout North America. Barbara loves all things fashion, fitness and food!
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