I have a few observations with just over two weeks before the San Diego Chargers play the New Orleans Saints in London, England …..
As a registered NFLUK member I seem to keep getting emails saying that tickets are still available, whether it is returns or TicketMaster just magically finding the odd billet down the back of their proverbial sofa.
I get the feeling this game is not going to be a sell out, just like last year when there were large sections near the field that were covered in a tarpaulin and used to advertise products.
I also spend some of my day job reading UK newspapers and magazines (I am a press officer so it’s legit!) and I am certainly hard pressed to find articles on the Chargers players, the Saints players or any reference to the NFL.
We suffered badly in the UK last year when the only weekly American Football magazine in Europe ceased to exist.
No-one has taken up the baton to produce an American Football newspaper or an American sports magazine. Yes we can buy a sanitised ‘European’ version of USA Today, and if you are lucky enough to live in a big town like London or Birmingham you can pick up ESPN magazine or the Sporting News at Borders in a shopping centre, but the copies are next to useless as they are at least two weeks to a month old.
The NFL will put a load of glossy spin on the success of the game that will be played at Wembley Stadium on October 26, but I would like to ask the following questions
1) How many of the tickets allocated for the game were actually sold to real fans and how many were allocated by the NFL as corporate freebies to advertisers, journalists and general corporate spongers?
2) Have the NFL conducted thorough research to engage with new fans ? I would put money on more than 750 in 1000 people interviewed randomly on Oxford Street in London or New Street in Birmingham not being able to fill in the blank ….Name the team The San Diego ________? The New Orleans ______?
Don’t get me wrong I love the NFL and I will love being at the game, I just question what is being done to actively promote the NFL to people outside London ? Not a fat lot from where I am sitting.
Any thoughts let me know…………………..