The NFL seems to be trying its best to follow in the NBA’s footsteps. Today the NFL announced a new initiative aimed at creating international fans for different NFL teams. To do this the NFL has broken down areas of the world where various teams are allowed to market themselves to build an international fan base.
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…
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.
Rather than literally spell out where various teams will be allowed to market themselves, the NFL published a map of the globe highlighting the different teams and regions. That’s the full map above.
.@NFL Announces International Home Marketing Area Teams and Markets
— NFL345 (@NFL345) December 15, 2021
The Vikings and the Seahawks will be allowed to market themselves in Canada while the Miami Dolphins will be allowed to market themselves in Brazil. Nine different teams will get access to Mexico and six teams will have access to the UK. But pretty quickly my friend Jon Gabriel notice that just one team gets access to China, the LA Rams. And the map appears to show Taiwan as part of China.
Why do you include Taiwan as part of China? Taiwan is an independent country. https://t.co/Oc72Az9LhR
— Jon Gabriel (@exjon) December 15, 2021
Here’s a closeup:
Others noticed the same thing.
NFL seems to have decided which team Taiwan is on https://t.co/6sDKVSb0gW
— Gady Epstein (@gadyepstein) December 15, 2021
Why is Taiwan red https://t.co/ERzARysDdH
— Adam Gurri (@adamgurri) December 15, 2021
Also, this reminds me that the owner of the NFL’s Jaguars gave one of the worst statements about the NBA/China/free speech controversy in 2019. Just atrocious. https://t.co/arXloaUziq
— Sarah McLaughlin (@sarahemclaugh) December 15, 2021
Yet another new low for America’s absolutely embarrassing professional sports leagues.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) December 15, 2021
I guess the NFL isn’t interested in strategic ambiguity. They’re giving China the Rams and Taiwan. Just another major American company telling the CCP exactly what it wants to hear. Is there an Enes Kanter Freedom in the NFL willing to say something about this? How will the NFL react if someone does speak up? Will we see a repeat of the NBA kowtowing to China on Hong Kong? This could get interesting pretty quickly.
Meanwhile, as we wait for the answers to those questions, Stephen Miller noticed another problem:
The LA Rams are going to be conducting delicate international diplomacy between China and Australia this is how nuclear war happens.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) December 15, 2021
China and Australia haven’t been getting on well recently so good luck getting them to root for the same team.