NFL Should Put Team in Mexico


NFL International Disses Mexico for England

An NFL International Investing Mistake? 110 Million Mexicans Say “Si Señor!”

Again, the U.S.-based National Football League is holding a regular season game outside of the USA. The hapless San Francisco 49ers will be playing the rudderless Denver Broncos on October 31 in what looks to be a scary match-up between two teams going south almost as fast as the marketing “gurus” at NFL International headquarters.

This writer is perplexed as to why the NFL keeps going back to London England. It’s very strange indeed.

First to understand the investment strategy, to help grow the American brand of football beyond American borders, NFL International has turned to an expert in the other kind of football.

Brian Mawhinney, who served for seven years as chair of the soccer “Football League”. He will serve as a special advisor to NFL International. The Football League consists of the 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.

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 International marketing and promo guys have decided that England is the market they want and Mexico is NOT. Why? This makes no cents.

Hey NFL International!  Mexico has the Market Demographic to Succeed!  Not England!

Mexico holds the 2nd highest regular season game attendance in history when the Arizona Cardinals played the San Francisco 49ers in 2005 at Aztec Stadium.

At that time, it was a record and was # 1 in attendance in NFL History and held on to that record until the Dallas Cowboys opened up their brand new $ 1.2 billion stadium in 2009 and owner Jerry Jones opened up the hallways to fans so that they can stand and watch in what could have been a design to take the record back to the USA.

Conspiracy theories aside, this is serious business.

What is strange is that in Mexico City, the game was showcasing the two worst teams in the league. I know! I was there! It was not exactly a blockbuster matchup. If that game was held in the USA, the attendance would have been maybe 35,000 people, if they were lucky!

Now just imagine if that game was a competitive relevant game or was between two teams that are popular in Mexico; namely the Cowboys and Steelers, well, that could have been 150,000 people and an additional 25,000,000 Mexican viewers on National TV.

But alas, the game was the best of American modern culture and they, the Mexicans, were finally part of it! I mean Mexicans were so pumped they were doing the wave 40 minutes before kick. It was amazing!

Johnny Punish Family at NFL Game in Mexico City 2005 (Punish Jr. in black shirt)
Fan at NFL Game in Mexico City (2005)

The NFL in Mexico Makes Cents

Now considering the above and with over 110 million people in Mexico, the size of the market just makes 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 NFL Mexico Picture?

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

Yeah, I know, it’s old-school 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 it’s 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.

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 it’s too late. I mean, the young Mexicans are rolling in folks and they are North Americans, not Zimbabweans! 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 mis-conception of Mexico? Who’s advising them?

For one of the sports’ greatest marketing machine mindsets, the NFL’s decision to go backward instead of forward is truly odd. So let’s see if the game in London next week breaks attendance records or is just another high-five back to Mother England circa 1776.

2010 Copyright – Johnny Punish