The NFL UK office – based in London – is responsible for managing the NFL’s business in the United Kingdom and overseeing the continued development of professional American football. This includes building the NFL’s fanbase, creating local broadcast and sponsorship deals and developing important relationships within the sporting, governmental and commercial communities.
Led by managing director Alistair Kirkwood, NFL UK features a mix of full-time staff and consultants. The office is responsible for the promotion of the International Series of regular-season games in London and staging fan engagement events across the United Kingdom, such as Super Bash and promotional tours.
Since 2007, six NFL regular season games have been played at Wembley Stadium; the Miami Dolphins hosted the New York Giants (2007), the New Orleans Saints took on the San Diego Chargers (2008), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers battled the New England Patriots (2009), the San Francisco 49ers played the Denver Broncos (2010), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted the Chicago Bears (2011) and the St. Louis Rams faced the New England Patriots (2012).
In response to outstanding and growing fan support of football in the United Kingdom, the NFL will take a historic step in its international development in 2013 when for the first time two regular-season games will be played in the UK.
On Sunday, September 29, 2013, the Minnesota Vikings will play the Pittsburgh Steelers at London’s Wembley Stadium. This is in addition to the previously announced game set for Sunday, October 27, 2013 – also at Wembley – when the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the San Francisco 49ers.
NFL UK is also responsible for staging fan events in the UK. Prior to the 2010 International Series between the 49ers and Broncos, the inaugural NFL Fan Rally in London’s Trafalgar Square attracted a crowd of more than 44,000. Earlier on the same day, a group of fans had met Commissioner Roger Goodell in his first UK Fan Forum. All events took place again prior to the 2011 and 2012 International Series games, but for the first time Friday Night Lights took place in Trafalgar Square in 2011, which saw the movie, Jerry Maguire, screened to thousands of fans.
Each year since 2004, NFL fans have gathered at Super Bash, the NFL’s official UK Super Bowl party. In 2013, Koko hosted the event for the first time.
NFL UK’s broadcasting platforms are very impressive. Sky Sports, Channel 4, BBC Sport and BBC Radio combine to provide comprehensive coverage of the sport via digital and terrestrial platforms, while the league’s official website – nfluk.com – boasts 370,000 registered members.
The Super Bowl is broadcast live on BBC One, Sky Sports and BBC Radio 5 Live and attracted a combined audience of 4.3 million in February 2012.