Football, and the NFL, is huge in the United States.
Across the Atlantic in Europe, especially the UK, taking a “vacation” to Central Florida, namely Osceola County, is just as huge.
And now Experience Kissimmee, Osceola County’s tourism marketing arm, has reached an agreement to tie the two together.
Last week, EK and the National Football League UK announced a partnership by appointing Experience Kissimmee as the ‘Official UK NFL Travel Destination’.
“The first-of-its-kind venture aspires to promote brand awareness and spotlight this popular Central Florida destination,” the tourism marketers said in a statement.
The NFL has played regular season games in London since October 28, 2007, when the New York Giants beat the Miami Dolphins, 13-10, in front of more than 81,000 fans at Wembley Stadium. The NFL began playing multiple games there in 2013, and all but one of the 22 games drew over 83,000 players.
In a bid to broaden the brand’s global appeal outside of the United States, matches were played at some of the biggest and most iconic stadiums England has to offer, including Wembley Stadium and the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, known for some of the greatest football – their ‘soccer’ – matches in the UK.
The sponsorship will begin with the NFL Games in London this season. They feature the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints (October 2) and New York Giants and Green Bay Packers (October 9) at Wembley Stadium, and the Denver Broncos vs. Jacksonville (October 30) at Tottenham Hotspur.
Prior to the pandemic, Experience Kissimmee president and CEO DT Minich said more than 800,000 visitors came to the area.
“This opportunity will broaden our reach to our high profile UK visitors, but will also allow us to connect with key markets across the US,” he said.
In 2021, the NFL London Games attracted a global audience of over seven million viewers.
As part of the agreement, Experience Kissimmee will also support the NFL UK Flag Football program, a non-contact version of American football that has grown in popularity in the UK over the past five years.
“It is a great honor to work with the NFL not only for the London Games, but also beyond,” said John Poole, executive director of the Kissimmee Sports Commission. “We believe this is a great opportunity to benefit from year-round exposure to a grassroots target audience in the UK. , which will allow us to connect to multiple markets across the UK.
This is the second major sports sponsorship Experience Kissimmee has had in the UK. They partnered with English Premier League football club West Ham United from 2016 to 2022.