When many people outside of the United States think of football, they are referring to soccer, or fútbol as it is more widely known. However when you are in the US, football is completely different. The NFL has tried many times to bring American football overseas and each time has not seen the results they were looking for. The NFL has tried the World League of America in 1991, The World League in 1994, NFL Europe in 1997, and the most recent attempt with the NFL Europa in 2006. Each one of these leagues ended up losing money and never consistently produced star NFL players. The NFL also continues to play one regular season game a year in Europe and is expanding that to two games this upcoming season.
The NFL continues to try to reach international players and gain exposure to the league by way of technology. For years now it has been getting easier and easier for fans to track their favorite NFL team by way of the internet or mobile apps. Young kids and teenagers are able to see American football on television overseas and the exposure of the NFL is becoming more wide spread daily. With all of the advances in television technology, it gives viewers a new look into the game that they were never able to experience years ago. What some international viewer might have viewed as boring years ago, now many are intrigued by how much technology has evolved and changed the game of football. Video games have also played a huge role in getting the NFL brand overseas. Games such as the Madden series have seen mediocre success in international markets but nevertheless is still getting brand awareness in areas of the world that may not be regularly exposed to the NFL.
Colts defensive end Bjoern Werner, who is originally from Germany, learned how to play the game of football by playing Madden as a child. He said that he played Madden a lot while growing up and was able to learn all the crazy nuances of the NFL game. In this past NFL Draft he was chosen as the 24th overall pick by the Colts. This goes to show that even though football is primarily played in America, with technology it is slowly becoming an international game and hopefully with more and more technological advancements even more international athletes will find their way into an NFL locker room.