American National Football League (NFL) teams have played a record number of three sold-out competitive matches this season at Wembley Stadium. There’s even talk on both sides of the pond that in the next couple of years London will get its own NFL franchise.
YouGov’s SportsIndex shows how the British public is responding to the sport.
According to YouGov metrics, the NFL’s buzz rating increased to its highest level at around the time of the third game on 9 November. The score rose from a low of minus 0.6 at the beginning of October to 5.8.
Similarly, YouGov’s WOM rating (Word Of Mouth) shows the same pattern.
We not only see an increase at around the time of the last match, but around the previous two matches in September and October. The score rose to a high of 6.0 around the time of the second London game. Clearly, the marketing efforts, extra TV exposure and events such as the “fan day” on Regent Street are helping to introduce the game to a new audience.
Our data also shows that the NFL’s reputation of the league is recovering from various scandals that engulfed it in early October, such as accusations about domestic abuse.
YouGov Profiles reveal that the average NFL fan is positive towards Adidas and Nike, and also likes watching Test cricket, the Champions League and US basketball.
Video games and cars also rank highly in their interests. Advertisers targeting this group may be key to further expansion.
So how does the British public react to games being in London? YouGov internal polling shows that an encouraging 28 per cent of people believe it to be a good thing that games are played in Britain, against only seven per cent who say it isn’t.
Three in 10 believe it would be a good thing for the city to have its own team against eight per cent who say it wouldn’t.
What’s more, almost four in 10 (37 per cent) say it would be a good thing for the UK economy, against only four per cent who say it wouldn’t.
NFL bosses can be satisfied therefore. Sell-out crowds and increased excitement around the sport shows the game is building momentum in the UK.