Well the NFLUK people have made their big announcement that I get the impression they’ve been trying to entice UK NFL fans with for a while (I don’t really follow them that much – daft I know considering I blog about the London games) and it seems to have been received differently by different folks.
I get the impression many people were hoping the big announcement was going to be about a change at the top of the NFLUK office staff to someone who doesn’t appear to be out of their depth but, alas, that wasn’t it.
Instead, the announcement was just about another event they’ll be putting on in London on Saturday 8th September. This event appears to me to be a cross between the NFLUK Live roadshows and the NFL on Regent Street/Gameday tailgating. The difference with this event is that they are closing Piccadilly Circus in the heart of London instead of Regent Street and it will be at the kickoff to the NFL season rather than the weekend of an NFL London game.
The NFLUK team are obviously learning from all the other events they’ve put on over previous years and continue to develop with things they think people like with putting them together.
I say this event seems like a combination of the NFLUK Live roadshows and NFL on Regent Street/Gameday Experience as they have elements of both. They look like they’ll have the usual on-stage stuff of guests, live music and cheerleaders in the centre of Piccadilly and a meet and greet of NFL legends and a screening of Super Bowl LII with live commentary from the likes of Osi, Jason and Neil Reynolds at BAFTA Theatre which is a short walk from where the stage will be.
According to the NFLUK website, more information will be revealed in the future but for now, all we know is that it will be in Piccadilly Circus on Saturday 8th September and will run from 12 noon – 6pm.
🚨ANNOUNCEMENT 🚨— NFL UK (@NFLUK) 18 July 2018
On Saturday 8th September, we’re celebrating the NFL season with #NFLKickoff on Piccadilly! 🇬🇧
Piccadilly will become a hub of NFL and entertainment activities! 🏈
Mark your diary, wear your team colours and get ready for a party 🎊https://t.co/X70XOk9q3b pic.twitter.com/mEguwif9Cf
After the announcement, there were mixed reactions. Some people wanted it to be a change to the higher-ups within the NFLUK office whilst others, and I must admit the majority of responses, were bitching about it being “Yet another NFL event in London. What a surprise!” and “Why don’t they just rename it NFL London instead of NFL UK?!”.
Personally, I couldn’t give a stuff about where they hold these kinds of events as I won’t be attending due to them being pretty much the same whether it’s an NFL UK Live roadshow, NFL on Regent Street or gameday tailgate event outside the stadium. After several years of attending the games, I’ve naturally come to the conclusion that I’m only interested if my team, the Cleveland Browns if you hadn’t already guessed, are directly involved in these extra events (I still go to the games no matter who’s playing). I used to like attending as much as I could no matter which teams were involved but must admit that the expense and same-old-same-old of it all have made me cynical about it and unwilling to spend as much on the brand as I used to. Don’t get me wrong, I like that they are still pushing on with getting the NFL over here but there’s only so much I’m willing to spend on it.
Lots of people are pissed off because they feel the NFL should be spreading the love around the UK. I’m sorry but it seems pretty obvious to me that the NFL is only interested in marketing their product and with London being one of the most famous, busy and business oriented cities on the planet, they ain’t venturing outside of it at this stage of the plans for expanding outside the US.
Yes, to us, Manchester and Birmingham are big popular cities but to everyone outside the UK, there is only one city on this island worth targetting businesswise.
So, what do you think about this announcement/event? Are you planning on spending your hard-earned to take a trip to the capital to spend more money when you get there on overpriced food and drink as well as merchandise, accommodation and travel? Or will you be giving it a miss?
It might be half decent if you’re a fan of one of the teams playing over here this year, but I must admit that, as a Browns fan, I found the non-NFLUK organised events in 2017 (when the Browns played at Twickenham against the Vikings) to be much better, but that’s just my own personal opinion.
Let me know what you think in the comments section below.