increasing popularity of the nfl

The Increasing Popularity of the NFL Across the Globe

It’s true; American Football is growing in popularity across the globe. The viewing figures for the Super Bowl break records constantly, not to mention the sheer amount an advertisement slot on that thing costs because of the number of eyes on it.

But, what has caused this boom in new fans? Why hasn’t it happened before now? And who really benefits from this the most? The franchise owners? The fans? Or is it other businesses more along the lines of sportswear companies and gambling companies? OR is it all of the above? Today we’ll be taking a broader look at why people haven’t got into football and who wins here.

So first, why haven’t people outside of the US and Canada got into football previously? Or rather, why was the rate of growth relatively slow in comparison to some other sports? Well, similarly to a lot of “American” sports, most casual sports fans tend to watch their local sports.

So, for example, whereas Americans are really into baseball, most Brits are into cricket. Americans have their Football, and Brits have Rugby. But another reason for things not picking up quite as smoothly would be that it’s a somewhat complicated sport to get to grips with.

But that isn’t the only issue here; for a casual fan who just wants to watch something, the stop start nature of a game like American Football doesn’t really make for a great viewing experience, so if you can’t figure out what’s going on and the highlight plays are separated by minutes of stoppages and ads, it’s kind of no wonder people took so long to pick American Football up as their new go-to sport.

It’s the highlight plays that have fans coming back for more, though! Even if you aren’t a regular viewer, watching a quarterback throw a 25-30 yard pass, caught cleanly and then having the receiver weave in and out of opposing players to run 40-50 yards for an outrageous touchdown is enough to get the blood pumping for any sports fan, whether you’re a football fan or not, you see a clip like that on Twitter, and you guarantee you’re intrigued.

With more fans involved, that means other businesses thrive, too. Like I mentioned earlier, sportswear companies will do better as they sell more jerseys and team merch in general, then there are “local businesses” as more fans filter out into bars to watch games, and then also sportsbooks.

With more eyes on the sport and now that more States are making sports betting legal, betting on the NFL is growing too. But with more fresh eyes on the sport and more people wanting to make a buck or two off their newfound passion, where should they be looking at putting their hard-earned cash?

Well, the prominent places to look would be the outright markets, who do the experts think will win the Super Bowl?

Well, as things stand, the favorites, who were coincidentally the favorites before the season started, are the Buffalo Bills, they currently sit 4/1 favorites meaning a £5 bet gets you £25 back, the second favorites are currently joint between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 7/1 so that’s £40 back from a £5 stake. If you think the Rams have what it takes to go back to back you can get them at 12/1, next in line, which is a £65 return from a £5 stake. Not too bad.

But what about the upcoming game week, what about that? Let’s just take a look at the top 3 favorites to win the Super Bowl and see who they play next.

First up are the Bills, they play the Baltimore Ravens, IN Baltimore, but still, you can get them at 5/9 versus 8/5 for the Ravens, that’s a £7.77 or a £13 return from £5. Then in what could be a very interesting game, the Chiefs travel TO TAMPA to play the Bucs. The chiefs at 5/6 for this one and the Bucs are 1/1, so that’s a £9.16 or a £10 return from a £5. Pretty tight game to call huh?

There aren’t any reputable places to look at GLOBAL audience statistics for the NFL, but, if the 2022 Super Bowl viewing numbers are anything to go by, it can only be a lot. In a study done by Statista.Com it’s estimated that 99.18million people watched the Super Bowl in the US alone, that’s not counting any of the other continents.

Interesting to note, however that the record figure for Super Bowl viewership in the US was the 2015 game between the Patriots and the Seahawks. That game had 114.44million viewers in the US! Crazy!

And with that being said, I think that’s all for this one. So it’s time to get a bit of discussion going. Firstly, for any long time football fans, are you happy to see the sport grow? How interested are you in the fact they now play games over the pond in London?

Do you think the London-based franchise they have been talking about for years at this point could genuinely work? If yes, this one is aimed at regular game going fans, would you consider the flight over to the UK for any games your team play there?

Next, for newer fans of the sport. What is it that grabbed your attention and started your passion for American Football? Have you settled on a team yet or are you still in your early days? Are the rest of your friend group into Football also or are you the only one, starting your conversion mission?

Similarly to the last set of questions also, what are YOUR thoughts on the games they now play in London? As a newer fan it would be interesting to see what your thoughts were on it, compared to more veteran fans. Until next time football fans, take care!

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