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SBD/Issue 33/Leagues & Governing Bodies
Giants, Dolphins To Play In Front Of Mostly European Crowd
Published October 26, 2007
|Taylor Feels Game In London Is
Smart Business Move For NFL
GOING ABROAD: NFL VP/Marketing & Sales and Int'l Senior VP Mark Waller beginning in five years would "like every team to play one game outside the U.S. every season." Waller: “It’s a personal view of mine; it’s not an ownership view. We haven’t formally addressed that.” Dolphins Owner Wayne Huizenga said of the league staging a Super Bowl overseas, “If you’re really talking about going global, you’re really going to introduce the game to a lot of people, that might be one way to do it. I’m not saying it’s going to happen. Certainly there are negatives, but there could be more positives.” Giants Chair & Exec VP Steve Tisch said the league, through Sunday’s game, is “going to learn a lot about marketing, about fan response, about press response. This game certainly is going to be a curiosity” (PALM BEACH POST, 10/26). More Tisch: "I think the league has been pleased with the reaction we have had and there will be a lot of conversation on Monday. I expect that it will be to the effect that this has been a tremendous first step. Another barometer is what this means to London” (LONDON TIMES, 10/26). Patriots CEO Robert Kraft said of bringing a regular-season game to London, “We realized in the end that to make it successful, we had to bring real games here.” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, “We couldn’t do that (play overseas). And wouldn’t do that. We just have too much commitment. We’re building a new stadium. And so that just wouldn’t work for us.” But Huizenga said Jones "may not have a choice. Because when the NFL votes, he will have to go. And if we do what we’re talking about doing -- playing two games a year outside the U.S. -- every team will have to go,” ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/25).
PAPER WEIGHT: The major British papers gave a good bit of editorial build-up to the game, which broke through coverage of soccer, F1 and other sports to garner top story-type treatment. Pieces ranged from conversations with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, to a writer discussing his disdain for American football, to a piece on grassroots football on the island nation. Many papers on Thursday offered content on Dolphins practice squad WR Marvin Allen. Today’s coverage was more in-depth, with pieces speculating on whether Kraft could potentially seek a Premier League team and whether Premier League teams will follow the NFL’s lead and play regular-season games in places like Asia. There have also been stories discussing such topics as injuries to key players (Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown), Super Bowl histories of each franchise, and even Don Shula’s feelings about the current state of the Dolphins. None of the articles appeared in the business sections of the respective papers, and most were placed toward the back of sports sections under the “U.S. Sports” section online (THE DAILY).
BACK IN THE STATES: The Dolphins are calling Sunday “Double Decker Day” at Dolphin Stadium, where they will show the game on the jumbo screens. Admission and parking are free and there will be a festival with British food, drink and music, as well as British celebrity impersonators (MIAMI HERALD, 10/26).