Buccaneers to Play in First-Ever Regular-Season Game in Munich

Earlier this year, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the first-ever regular-season game would be played as part of the International Series’ expansion into Munich. Like games played domestically, the faceoff will see coverage from sportsbooks offering betting advice and lines, as well as analysts reporting on how an international trip will affect each team.

Weeks after announcing the International Series was heading to Munich, and eventually Frankfurt, the NFL announced one of the competitors: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team has already logged three games in the International Series in London, where the NFL has hosted 30 exhibition matches.

The regular-season games are part of the NFL’s expansion to 17 weeks rather than 16, which kicked off with the 2021-22 season. But added action isn’t the only plan for Goodell’s NFL.

Building Interest Abroad

Shortly after announcing the International Series expansion into Germany (and Mexico), the NFL designated global markets for each of its 32 teams. The new rollout of International Home Marketing Areas (IHMAs) is designed to help teams gain strategic exposure in certain regions.

The overarching goal is clear: build on NFL interest abroad. For a league that falls squarely into a North American market, added games in Mexico, the UK, and Germany will go a long way in building international hype. Even better, the NFL’s decision to include regular-season games adds more intrigue, as the stakes are much higher than an exhibition match.

Going forward, the NFL will seek to host international games according to each team’s IHMA region. This will help prospective fans find a team to cheer for. At the moment, the Buccaneers are looking to build interest directly with German sports fans by marketing their team throughout Munich.

The Bundesliga as a Jumping Off Point

To help build interest in Munich, the NFL is working alongside the country’s premier domestic soccer team: Bayern Munich. Aside from dominating the Bundesliga, the team regularly appears in the Champions League intercontinental competition.

By hosting the International Series match at Allianz Arena, the FC Bayern Munich Stadium, the NFL can position itself as an extra sporting activity that will appeal to Bayern fans. At the moment, the NFL is accepting registrations for fans across the globe interested in attending the match.

So far, the NFL has yet to announce the second competitor that will travel to Munich this fall. Other teams with an IHMA in Germany include the Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs, and New England Patriots. It’s likely the Buccaneers will face one of these teams, which will also leverage its IHMAs to build interest in Munich, Frankfurt, and other parts of Germany.

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