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SBD Global/September 27, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFL Int'l VP Chris Parsons Says League Is Looking To Grow Fanbase In United Kingdom

The NFL said that it wants to "continue to grow" its fanbase in the U.K., according to the BBC. NFL Int'l VP Chris Parsons said, "In the U.S. we are essentially saturated. What we have been doing over the past six years, playing games here in the U.K., is really about embedding the sport into the popular culture. Our next frontier is international. We have made a real focus of the U.K. being our primary investment market globally." The Pittsburgh Steelers "take on Minnesota Vikings this weekend, while the Jaguars will play San Francisco 49ers" on Oct. 27. Parsons: "We want to continue to play more games and nurture a young fanbase that will grow up loving the NFL" (BBC, 9/26)

ANALYSIS: In monitoring the London news outlets in the final four days before the game, there was spotty coverage of the NFL and the int'l series. On Monday and Tuesday, London newspapers reported on the possibility of an NFL franchise moving to London as well as the chance Wembley Stadium could host a future Super Bowl. However, coverage of Sunday's Pittsburgh-Minnesota game was limited. On Thursday, for instance, neither the London Telegraph, Times, Independent, Daily Mirror or Evening Standard posted any NFL coverage on their web sites. The London Guardian and Daily Mail were the lone exceptions. The Guardian's Sean Ingle wrote a piece highlighting Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's stardom and skill set. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail published a story on the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers as well as a feature on Minnesota Vikings DE Jared Allen and his love of English cuisine (SBD Global).

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