The National Football League continues to improve its international market, as announced on Monday, with the NFL appointing two general managers to major international markets.
Henry Hodgson will lead the United Kingdon business, while Charlotte Offord becomes the first Australian general manager.
The NFL has managed to expand American football games outside of the United States, resulting in a sporting opportunity for fans to view the game on digital platforms, television, and live sporting events.
The Raiders have taken part in the International Series before, going against the Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, and Seattle Seahawks.
With the move to Las Vegas, the Raiders and their fan base, “Raider Nation,” have an opportunity to expand internationally with the help of the new general managers.
Both Hodgson and Offord have been figuring in the NFL's international marketing activities, and are to take the new roles of general managers for the UK and Australia, respectively.
Hodgson, vice president of International Marketing based in Los Angeles, will move back to his native England to lead the NFL's UK business, reporting to Brett Gosper, Head of Europe and UK.
Offord, who hails from New Zealand, will move from her current role as Senior Director of Marketing, NFL UK, to drive business in Australia and New Zealand.
She will report to Damani Leech, Chief Operating Officer, International, and will be the NFL's first full-time employee in Australia.
"International is one of the League's fastest-growing business areas and a key strategic priority," Leech said. "Within that, we have identified two leadership positions that will play a critical role in our future success and development of our sport. Henry and Charlotte have proved themselves as talented, creative individuals and we are excited about the opportunities for growth in their respective areas that these appointments create."
Hodgson first worked for the NFL as a public relations assistant in the London office in 1995, later becoming editor of nfluk.com before moving to Los Angeles to become a director of digital content in 2010. Since 2016 he has overseen the League's international marketing efforts.
In his new role, he will have overarching responsibility for the successful delivery of NFL UK's strategic priorities, including fan growth, maximizing live games, the overall development of the sport, and supporting continued commercial growth and monetization in the UK.
Hodgson said: "I am excited to return to the UK and to have the opportunity to build on the incredible momentum of the past decade. The growth is evident in the size of the fan base and how NFL fans engage with the sport on TV, social media, at the games in London and across multiple other touchpoints. I look forward to working with the talented NFL UK team to continue that growth."
Said Gosper: "The NFL's development in the UK and the scale and complexity of the market requires the focus of a dedicated UK general manager to take it to the next level. The opportunities for fan growth and revenue generation, the success of the London Games series, the establishment of the NFL Academy, the launch of the NFL Foundation UK and our expanded grassroots and community activities mean it is a very exciting time for Henry and the UK teams."
Offord joined NFL UK as part of the marketing team in 2012 from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Since 2019, she has overseen the UK's marketing efforts. Her new role establishes the NFL's first on-the-ground presence in one of its fastest-growing emerging markets, where she will play a key role in driving fan growth, football development, and supporting revenue generation.
"Having been a part of the NFL's development in the UK for the past 10 years, I am excited to be taking on this opportunity to drive further fan growth and football development across these markets," Offord said.
"Australia and New Zealand are both countries that already have a rich sporting culture, so I am looking forward to bringing sports fans in these territories closer to the game of American football."
Hodgson and Offord will begin their new roles in July with the opportunity to expand the NFL to their audiences.
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