The phenomenon of American football is already common knowledge in its country of origin, but, surprisingly, this sport has managed to cross borders and now it enjoys quite a lot of popularity in Europe as well. This might sound surprising, given the eternal debate between “soccer” and “football”, but people’s preferences vary regardless of a country’s place on the map. Whether it comes from the UK or the US, the universal excitement and passion that lies behind a sport is contagious and even the most sceptical person can gain an interest in football after watching a new matches on TV. There is even an NFL shop in UK for those who want to get NFL clothing or merchandise. But how did we get here and what triggered a sudden interested in the National Football League right in the heart of Europe?
Watching NFL events on TV in Europe
TV programs are more diverse and accessible than they were in the past and now people have less restrictions on watching TV channels from other countries. In the UK, certain cable companies earned broadcasting rights for the Super Bowl and this how the British started watching American football. Another aspect that should be mentioned is the fact that some cable providers denied the British access to the Premier League and Champion’s League, so they had no other option but to watch American football competitions. Some matches are also available to watch online for free, which increased exposure even more. This sport might not hold the same emotional value to them, but it is an exciting one, so in very little time British sports enthusiasts developed an interest in the NFL.
Football games and other media
Can we enjoy sports other than by playing them in real life and watching them on TV? Of course, we can play them on the computer! There are plenty of companies that have released games where players have to control NFL teams and win championships or be the manager and lead their teams to victory. Such games are widely available for smartphones, PCs and platforms and this is how people from the United Kingdom started to get used to this sport and even gain a sincere interest in it.
Tourism, national promotion and Internet culture
Last, but not least, the Americans really knew how to promote their national sport and now the entire World Wide Web abounds in football references. You can find them on forums, YouTube and social networks and it’s hard not to be curious and watch a few games for yourself to see what the excitement is all about. Also, tourism plays an important role. There are many European exchange students who come to the United States, go see several matches with their college friend and grow to like it. The advent of NFL shops in UK now makes it possible for them to show continuous support for their team by purchasing official merchandise.