Under the leadership of the International Committee, the NFL announced today that 18 teams have been granted access to 26 International Home Marketing Areas (IHMA) across eight different countries. This ground-breaking, new initiative grants clubs access to international territories for marketing, fan engagement and commercialization as part of an important, long-term, strategic effort to enable clubs to build their global brands while driving NFL fan growth internationally.
As part of the announcement, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been granted IHMA rights in Mexico.
"We are thrilled about this new opportunity to engage our amazing fans in Mexico after the announcement of the NFL granting the Pittsburgh Steelers an International Home Marketing Area (IHMA) for Mexico today," said Steelers Team President Art Rooney II. "We look forward to having more direct contact with our fans in Mexico, which will include more focus on events, social engagement, and a potential regular-season game. Over the years we have seen support grow from our Mexican fans both in Mexico and at games at Heinz Field and on the road, and this initiative will allow us to develop even greater relationships in Mexico. This is a really exciting time for our Spanish speaking fans worldwide, especially those in Mexico."
"NFL fandom begins with our clubs," said Christopher Halpin, NFL Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer. "This important initiative enables NFL teams to develop meaningful, direct relationships with NFL fans abroad, driving fan growth and avidity globally. We were very pleased with the number, creativity and level of commitment of club proposals across the board in this initial application period and look forward to teams launching their efforts early next year."
As part of the International HMA program, clubs will have access to international markets for at least a five-year term, during which a club will have rights to pursue activities in that international market that are consistent with what they can do in their domestic HMA. This includes in-person and digital marketing, corporate sponsorship sales, fan events and activations, youth football activities, merchandise sales and co-marketing relationships with other sports and entertainment properties in the market. Clubs can begin to activate in their awarded market(s) on January 1, 2022.
Coupled with the League's commitment to International Games – all 32 clubs will play at least one international game in the next eight seasons – the League will use its best efforts to ensure clubs play their international games in their International HMAs, where possible. Following the launch of this initiative, clubs may submit future proposals for International Committee review annually each spring.