Kansas City Chiefs learning from Premier League, Formula 1 with German expansion, says team president Mark Donovan | NFL News


The Kansas City Chiefs have obtained the marketing rights in Germany

Kansas City Chiefs President Mark Donovan says the NFL franchise is drawing inspiration from Premier League and Formula 1 success when it comes to moving closer to global expansion.

It was announced Wednesday that 18 teams have gained access to 26 territories in eight separate countries as part of the International Home Marketing Areas (IHMA) initiative, with the leaders securing marketing rights in Mexico and Germany.

The initiative is designed to pave the way for marketing, fan engagement and commercialization that will enhance the branding of a team overseas while growing the NFL in international territories with the aim of playing in their respective countries as well.

While the question of NFL expansion has long surrounded an “ultimate goal,” what has become increasingly clear is that new possibilities, new opportunities, and new ventures are continually appearing regarding the league’s world-touring ambitions. .

“We have learned a lot from the Premier League and from the teams that have gone through quite massive international expansion,” Donovan told Sky Sports during an international media call. “If you look at the fan base of a Premier League team, it is much larger than just their country of origin and we are trying to shape that.

“I think you are right in saying that goals and objectives change as things evolve, but I think that also reflects where we are as a world. Everything is getting smaller, there is a lot more interaction, there are so so many great examples of how people took the opportunity this way and used technology and created more awareness, using content to build fans and create that passion and interaction.

“And, from a business standpoint, that interaction creates business opportunities, so look at what F1 did with Drive to Survive, look at what some Premier League teams did with international expansion with tours, this is the model we are trying to follow, and what we have seen and the research we have done on those models is that the opportunities go exponential.

Travis Kelce's 34-yard dash in OT secures the Kansas City Chiefs' seventh straight win in week 15 against the LA Chargers

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Travis Kelce’s 34-yard dash in OT secures the Kansas City Chiefs’ seventh straight win in week 15 against the LA Chargers

Travis Kelce’s 34-yard dash in OT secures the Kansas City Chiefs’ seventh straight win in week 15 against the LA Chargers

“So today I can’t sit here and say there is a specific goal, our first goal is just to create a better awareness of the Kansas City Chiefs as part of the National Football League in Germany and hopefully expand beyond that. Germany”.

While Donovan insists Munich won’t be the Chiefs’ only target, the organization already has a long-standing relationship with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, thanks to their partnership with Hunt family-owned FC Dallas in the MLS. .

Munich is one of three finalist cities, along with Dusseldorf and Frankfurt, competing for the opportunity to host regular season matches in Germany from 2022.

“We have spent the past two years building a relationship with them [Bayern], understanding how they operate and how they have such a strong position in Germany and trying to look at what they have done in expanding and leveraging their brand in the United States, “explained Donovan.” And the lessons we can learn from that we can draw towards a similar process of expanding our brand in Germany. “

Kansas City will be able to go live in Germany and Mexico as early as January 1, 2022, with fan events, local flag football activities, fan clubs, targeted marketing, local sponsorship deals and new digital properties on the team’s website and social channels between plans to grow the brand and support the organization.

The other three clubs to secure the rights in Germany include the Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots, the latter of which has German full-back Jakob Johnson on its roster. The Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers are, meanwhile, among other teams with Mexican rights.

“This is a long-term process,” Donovan said. “Our first goal will be to expand awareness of the Kansas City Chiefs as part of the NFL, luckily we maintain a rather strong position in the German fanbase compared to other fanbases.

“We have some work to do there, we will expand this awareness beyond the core fans who watch us every week.

“We fully expect to be on the pitch in Germany in 2022 with activities, with features around the Draft, around the Pro Bowl, around the Super Bowl and hopefully the opportunity to play a regular season game in Germany. a competitive process, I think all four clubs that have the rights would like to play there, but in the next few years we would like to be on the pitch playing a game. “

Chiefs chairman Mark Donovan on plans in Germany

Germany offers one of the most enthusiastic, invested and deepest NFL fan bases in Europe, having hosted five pre-season games between 1990 and 1994 and was represented by five teams from the former World League of American Football / NFL Europe / NFL Europe in various stages between 1991 and 2007.

So why Germany? Why expansion? As Donovan alludes, it is in the DNA of the leaders.

“The history of the NFL and the history of the strength of fans’ passion for NFL football, our founder Lamar Hunt was the latest innovator in the sport, one of the things he focused on was expanding into new markets.” , Donovan said.

“We played six games in the international markets, four preseason games and two regular season games. He was a big believer in expanding and putting our brand in the markets and creating that affinity with fans.

“We know from hard evidence that there are fans who have become fans of the Kansas City Chiefs because of the American Bowl or some of the regular season games, whether in London or Mexico City. That opportunity is one where believed “.

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