- 01/26/2012, 10:50AM ET
CuntryBlumpkin said 01/26, 10:50 AM
Excludes UK and Canada.
My country of choice is Germany.
Germany has a pretty strong cult following for American football. They have their own league, the GFL, consisting of 14 teams spread throughout the country. Germany is one of few countries outside of North America that has a professional American football league.
The GFL predates NFL Europe.
While the GFL stadiums are very small compared to NFL stadiums, it is known to be vastly inferior to the NFL.
Germany is among the leaders when it comes to online viewership of NFL games.
Point being, there are a lot of Germans already familiar with the game.
A regular season NFL game being played in Berlin's Olympic Stadium with a capacity of nearly 80,000, not far behind Wembley Stadium would be a huge success.
There's already a following of American football in Germany, and an NFL game being played there would gain more interest in the sport from those who haven't been turned on yet.
If the Saarland Hurricanes can draw over 35000 fans, I'm sure an NFL game could sell out Olympic stadium.
Mr. Jolly said 01/26, 02:31 PM
Considering the NFL's International Series has targeted Canada, the UK, and Germany, your choice has led me to thinking outside this cool box I'm in.
The NFL is a business before sport.
A business wants to profit as much as possible. To do that, you need to continue to expand your influence. It's more than just interest in playing the game. It involves the desire to purchase anything/everything with the NFL stamped on it.
You've made it clear that Germany has been well attended to.
Let me suggest a different avenue.
The Nation of Japan
* 3rd largest world GDP, bigger than Germany.
* 3rd largest world PPP (purchasing power purity), bigger than Germany.
* 10th largest world population, bigger than Germany (both are declining, but Japan's life expectancy is higher)
The NFL's Senior VP, Mike Waller has stated Asia is a travel concern, but that didn't stop the Coca-Cola Classic (Mirage Bowl) from playing there for 8 years, and that's college students.
Nor did it stop the idea of a China Bowl before New England pulled out due to recession concerns.
Japan makes more business sense than Germany, which trumps participation in the game, and I will show FN why
CuntryBlumpkin said 01/26, 10:36 PM
Japan isn't a bad choice, but I don't think it's better than Germany.
The NFL is a business, and if they are going to host a game overseas, they need to do it in a country where it is guaranteed to be a success.
The market for American football in Japan is pretty weak right now. Before the NFL plays a game over there, they need to take a lot of action to promote the sport, and show streams of the game online like they do in Europe, and it could be years before the market in Japan is large enough to play a game in Japan.
Per Wiki, Germany has a higher per capita GDP than Japan, Germany isn't really struggling, so those figures don't mean much. Both countries are in the first world.
And you pointed out yourself with travel concerns. Yeah, a college bowl was played in Japan for a while, but there's a reason they haven't been back since 1993
There is already a decent market for American football in Germany, and it's time the NFL host a game there to strengthen Germany's NFL market.
Japan would be next in line after Germany, but as of now, Germany is the best choice to host a regular season NFL game.
Mr. Jolly said 01/27, 04:01 PM
The NFL is in a enviable position right now and they should use it.
Their product has never been more valuable or solid. The game isn't going anywhere but "up" in dollars.
This is absolutely the time to take advantage of untapped areas and promote the game.
You're right that the market is stronger right now in Germany and this is exactly why the NFL needs to start digging somewhere else. It's not like Germany will just drop the sport if the league doesn't devote resources there immediately.
Ray Kroc, architect of the world's larget fast food restaurant, used to ride in a helicopter above metropolitan areas, to get a view of how traffic was flowing.
Because he wanted to buy untapped land as close to the traffic clusters as possible. He didn't care that nothing was actually there yet, because he knew the opportunity was there and he needed to be the first to plant his flag.
He didn't concentrate his resources in markets he already developed, because expansion is growth. Solidification will come if the product is good, which after 80+ years, I think you can say the NFL is good.
NFL needs to explore the other side of the globe.
Japan is a great start.
CuntryBlumpkin said 01/29, 04:02 PM
It doesn't matter how popular your sport is, it isn't gonna be a success to host a game where the sport gets little to no coverage and has very few fans.
The NFL in Japan has a very real possibility of failure. A high population doesn't mean the people will care. It's like hockey in the American south.
With Germany you have a place where there is enough of a market in place to ensure the game will sell out and enough Germans will watch on the television, but it's also a high population center that has a lot of room to grow when it comes to the NFL.
The NFL in the UK and Canada were successes because there was already somewhat of a market for the game.
Japan and Asia will be ready for an NFL game eventually, but the time is not now. The NFL needs to introduce it's brand with internet streams and television broadcasts before they host a game in Japan.
Germany at this point is ready for an NFL game to be hosted there.
The NFL needs to secure the European market before it moves it's interests to Asia.
Good TD Jolly, GL in the voting
Mr. Jolly said 01/30, 01:18 PM
It absolutely matters how popular your sport is when talking expansion, because the strength of the product will be the most important factor in your ability to embrace new business.
The hockey comparison isn't a similar comparison. No offense to hockey fans, but the NHL is not in the business position that the NFL is in. The NHL also had transitional issues during its expansion to the south, including a lockout, that the NFL isn't facing. Plus, not all the southern franchises are failing.
There wasn't a market in the UK/Canada prior to their embrace of American football, so that point is moot. It's a chicken/egg statement.
Internet streams and TV broadcasts can be marketed as a game is scheduled in Tokyo. There is no reason to believe that an Asian market wouldn't populate a game that is successfully promoted. There isn't enough room in this argument to showcase the history of Japanese embracement of American interests.
While Germany isn't the UK, the presence in Europe has been placed and Germany's interest will continue to cultivate with/without a game. It would be better for the NFL to place multiple eggs in multiple baskets.
Always a pleasure to TD with you, UH.
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