Ever find yourself stuck in a foreign country, unable to satiate your desire for live American football? While football fans’ sights are set on the upcoming Pro Bowl in Hawaii and Super Bowl in New Orleans, the NFL’s senior director of events, Dave Wintergrass, is looking farther afield. He works on the league’s International Series events, organized by the NFL on Location in order to deliver the (live) goods to American football fans abroad. The next two games in the series will take place this fall at London’s Wembley Stadium, including one game featuring a Super Bowl contender, the San Francisco 49ers.
The NFL’s international efforts are part of a growing trend to increase the visibility of American professional team sports worldwide. Other notable examples include the NBA hosting a game between the New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons at London’s O2 arena last week, and the World Baseball Classic.
Wintergrass spoke on a panel about experiential travel at The New York Times Travel Show on Friday in New York. He said that the NFL wants to expand its global branding efforts by taking advantage of the league’s online media platforms and providing an entertaining, social experience in which only some of the customs mirror those of American football. Click through for his play-by-play: