Bundesliga and NFL partnership bringing Super Bowl LVII into sharper focus
Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena made history on Sunday 13 November 2022 by becoming the first venue to host a regular-season NFL game in Germany, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beating the Seattle Seahawks 21-16 as part of the road to Super Bowl LVII.
The match formed part of a collaboration agreement between the NFL and the DFL, the organising body of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, with one regular-season game to be held in Germany over the next four years, alternating between Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank Park.
The Buccaneers ran out winners on the day in front of a 69,811 crowd in Munich. "That was one of the great football experiences I've ever had," said Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady afterwards. "It says a lot for 23 years in the league and for a regular-season game. I think the fan turnout was incredible. It felt, like, very electric from the time we took the field. The end of the game, with them singing 'Sweet Caroline' and 'Country Roads,' that was pretty epic. So I think everyone who's a part of that experience got to have something pretty amazing, a memory for the rest of their life. So thank you for hosting us, we appreciate it. Thank you."
Watch: Brady talks Bundesliga
Bayern’s Allianz Arena is no stranger to housing some of the biggest names in world sports, with the likes of Sadio Mane, Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller regulars out on the pitch, but in November it welcomed football players of a different ilk, including NFL superstar Brady in his final season before retirement, while a number of Bayern's players were in attendance as spectators.
Although neither the Buccaneers nor the Seahawks made it all the way to this year's Super Bowl, Bayern's links to the final match for the Vince Lombardi Trophy aren't over. The Bundesliga's record champions have developed a close relationship with the Kansas City Chiefs, who will take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Glendale, Arizona, having trained with the NFL club during their tours to the USA and also holding talks between coaches Julian Nagelsmann and Andy Reid to discuss similarities and differences in their roles.
Watch: Nagelsmann meets Reid in Coaches Corner
In addition to Bundesliga stadiums hosting regular-season matches, the partnership agreement between the NFL and the DFL will increase communication and collaboration in the areas of production, broadcast and programming, digital innovation and marketing. The partnership agreement was signed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and then DFL CEO Donata Hopfen.
“The DFL has always worked openly and cooperatively with leagues and organisations around the world to promote the development of sport worldwide,” Hopfen said, “We look forward to working closely with our colleagues from the NFL on a variety of issues and gaining new insights, particularly with regard to sports in the U.S.”
Watch: Bundesliga meets NFL - longest goal vs. mega touchdown
In 2018, the DFL opened its New York office, which covers the North and South American region and serves as a point of contact for media and marketing partners, as well as aiding clubs with local market initiatives. The partnership with the NFL marks another step in the DFL’s dynamic internationalization strategy and supports the approach to grow the Bundesliga’s popularity globally, ensuring that even more fans around the world can experience the best of German football.
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