NFL Misses Field Goal on Mexico


NFL Disses Mexico for England

NFL hires former English soccer exec to help with international growth. Oops!

To help grow the American brand of football beyond American borders, the NFL is turning to an expert in the other kind of football. Brian Mawhinney, who served for seven years as chair of the Football League, will serve as a special advisor to NFL International. The Football League consists of 72 teams below the Premier League in England.

A former member of Parliament (not the musical group), Mawhinney could help lay the foundation for an expanded presence of the league in England, possibly culminating in the full-time arrival of the London Shaguars.

Mexico City NFL Game-10-02-05
NFL Game in Mexico City 2005

For now, Mawhinney says that American football is “developing impressively in this country and I look forward to aiding that process.”

Clearly and for reasons unknown, the NFL has decided that England is the market they want and Mexico is NOT. Why? This makes no cents.

Mexico held the 2nd highest regular season game attendance in history when the Arizona Cardinals played the San Francisco 49ers in 2005, at the time a record, at Aztec Stadium in Mexico City.  (# 1 was Cowboy Home Game in 2009).  And this game was with not so competitive showcase of two teams at the bottom of the league.

If I remember correctly, I think they were actually the 2 worst teams in the league that season.  So it was NOT exactly a blockbuster matchup.  I can’t imagine the attendance if it was a competitive relevant game.  It could have been 150,000 people! It did NOT matter, It was the best of American modern culture and they were finally part of it!  Mexicans were so pumped they were doing the wave 40 minutes before kick0ff.  I know, I was there!  It was amazing.

Mexico City NFL Game-10-02-05 - Johnny Punish Friends and Family
Johnny Punish Family at NFL Game in Mexico City 2005 (Punish Jr. in black shirt)

Now considering the above and with over 110 million people in Mexico, the size of the market just make economic cents.  After all, Mexico is by far the USA’s largest neighbor.

Furthermore, add in the long history of supporting the NFL since the days of the 70s Steelers when they won the hearts of Mexican sports fans and subsequent hysteria for the Dallas Cowboys in the 90s, why would the NFL bypass Mexico for England…. a cold far off land across an ocean and non-friendly TV time zones?

It’s weird.  I mean Monterrey, is just 2 hours by car from Texas?  How does this NOT make cents?   Not to mention, Mexico has a well-developed College Football League system that plays on the level of Division II football.  I mean, it’s ripe for the NFL to get in there and develop. Does England have a built-in farm system?  No!  What up people!  Get with it!

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

I really don’t know but my first guess is some sort of weird odd cultural “I don’t understand Mexico” thing.  Maybe the leaders of the NFL understand the Anglo culture of their ancestral homeland.  I don’t think it’s racism but maybe it has more to do with culture and more understanding of a language they recognize and know.

Yeah, I know, it’s old skool thinking but really, the market in the USA is changing fast and the Hispanic population is exploding.  We must pay attention if we are going to compete right?

Moreover, Mexico is fast becoming more like the USA with its younger growing population making noise in the world as most think tanks rate Mexico along with Brazil as one of the up-and-coming nation stars of the 21st Century.

In fact, English is the fastest-growing 2nd language in Mexico with what seems to be half the friggin population speaking some form of English.  We need to get to know Mexico before its’ too late.  I mean, the young Mexicans are rolling in folks and they are North Americans, not Zimbaweeans!  They are directly our neighbors; our brothers.

England, on the other hand, is getting an older population fast and it’s not natural for growth.   It’s a hard place to travel across an ocean in a non-market-friendly time zone. It’s a bad demographic.  It makes limited cents.

So what is going on here?  Why is the NFL messing up on its marketing and demography?  Are they following the current xenophobic trend in the USA that has a weird incorrect stereotypical misconception of Mexico?  Who’s advising them?

For one of the sports’ greatest marketing machine mindsets, the NFL’s decision to go sideways instead of forwards is truly odd.