ch05 - Chapter 5 Case Study NFL International Series...

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1 In September 2008, Forbes dubbed the NFL “the stron- gest sport in the world.” With annual league revenues of roughly $6.5 billion and each of the 32 NFL teams worth $1 billion on average (compared to only four pro- fessional soccer teams worldwide worth over $1 billion), the NFL is one of the most lucrative and ± nancially resil- ient sports leagues worldwide. Forbes’ August 2008 list of the world’s best-paid athletes, however, does not have a single football player. It is populated by soccer, tennis, and basketball players; motorcycle and auto racers; and golfers. One reason that football players do not make the list of the world’s best-paid athletes is because American football is American. It does not have effective inter- national appeal. Even baseball, a game some might consider more American than football, has gained a substantial following in Japan and Latin America. But considering the amount of athletes’ earnings that come from marketing contracts, it’s no surprise that the top 10 (and in fact the top 20) are dominated by sports that hold a much more global appeal. For all its suc- cess, the vast majority of the NFL’s market remains in the United States. Over the years, numerous attempts have been made to export American football overseas. Its most recent en- deavor, NFL Europa, closed down in 2007 without any plans for a replacement. NFL Europa had lost money for 15 years straight and was largely being used by NFL owners as a place to stash extra players during training camp.
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ch05 - Chapter 5 Case Study NFL International Series...

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