The NFL is gaining more and more fans in Europe

A quick overview of the European online gambling establishments and betting sites, including Swiss betting sites will give you an idea of how much the NFL is gaining more and more fans in the region. The NFL stands in prominent places in these sportsbooks and this justifies the increased interest and ‘love’ for the league by people overseas.

It is not surprising that many people think of American football as being highly unpopular in parts of the world, outside the United States. And it is not surprising that for the most part -not to say for all of it – American football has been strongly used interchangeably with its greatest, largest and most valuable league, the NFL (National Football League).

The idea that NFL is not popular beyond the geographic boundaries of North America, rests in the assumption that it is tightly linked to American culture and it concerns a particular sport that is predominantly played in the specific continent. Especially when it comes to thinking about how the NFL is doing in Europe, one would normally think that ‘football’ and ‘soccer’ are two words that can get someone really confused there. Europeans’ football is Americans’ soccer! So, when Europeans speak about football, they mean what the Americans call soccer.

But is the NFL really unpopular in Europe? The answer is no! 

On the contrary, the NFL has been up to recently, slowly but steadily building up its share of viewership and fans in the continent. Only, in the last few years, the NFL’s growth has accelerated significantly, making the NFL really popular in major European countries including Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

A closer look at the European markets

Up until some years ago, London was the biggest ‘hub’ of NFL fans in Europe. Lately, Germany has long surpassed Britain and has eventually become the largest market in the region. A recent study showed that both countries have nearly 3.3 million avid fans and as much as 17 million casual fans. Amongst those fans, a very large percentage is actively showing interest by consuming branded products, purchasing subscriptions to TV broadcasts, placing wagers on their favorite teams and so on.

Besides these two however, there are other countries where people are enjoying watching American football, playing American football and even betting on American football. Italy, France, Switzerland are only some of the European countries that are also showing greater interest in NFL games.

NFL becoming global

Bringing a sport that is totally built on the values, philosophy and norms of the American culture to new cultures, seemingly or actually distant, was kind of difficult. But bringing a league to popularity in new, geographically distant but also culturally diverse markets was exceptionally difficult.

The first NFL game in London back in 2007, when the New York Giants confronted the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium, was an experiment that turned out to go really well and pave the way to the future. Now, nearly fifteen years later, London and Munich are the two cities having hosted NFL regular season games. 

In fact, Munich’s successful regular season game earlier this November only opened a new door for the NFL in Europe. It was announced that for the next three seasons, one game per season will be played in Germany. 

The NFL brand is transforming from a North American league to a world-class league, an international brand and a global phenomenon.

Apparently, just as the NFL is gaining more fans in Europe, so does NFL betting. Punters in Europe have already been showing enormous growth rates in considering NFL betting amongst their wager portfolios.  And sportsbooks are also providing many options and many alternatives to sports bettors to choose from when it comes to NFL games. 

American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!