Skol! Minnesota Vikings Set to Become NFL Fan Favorites in Canada & UK
Come the new year, the Minnesota Vikings skol chant will sound a little louder and reach a little further thanks to the addition of new international markets.
On Wednesday, December 15 the NFL awarded 18 professional American football teams marketing rights in 8 countries. What that means, according to NBC Sports, is that "the teams will have access to these countries for marketing, fan engagement, and other initiatives to build the fan base outside of the United States." The announcement comes as part of the NFL's efforts to expand its reach into international markets.
The Minnesota Vikings are one of the 18 NFL teams to win bids to international markets. As of January 1, 2022 they'll be able to begin marketing and growing fan bases in two countries outside the US -- Canada and the UK. "Specifically," reads the Vikings' website, "the Vikings can begin investing in growing its fan base through fan events and activations, localized social media channels, and merchandise sales locations" as well as "launch local community and social initiatives, develop partnerships with local brands and support and grow flag football participation within the markets." The Vikings will have marketing rights to both countries for at least five years.
The Vikings aren't the only NFL team to be granted marketing rights to Canada and the UK, though; the Seattle Seahawks were also awarded marketing rights in Canada, and the Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers will all have marketing rights in the UK.
"This is an excellent opportunity to directly engage with Vikings fans across the world, as well as grow our fan base and cultivate interest in the game of football," Vikings.com quotes Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf. "With the geographic proximity and our already-established Canadian fans...Canada is a tremendous fit for us." The Vikings also have a small fanbase in the UK having played previous games in London. Fans abroad can follow the Minnesota Vikings on market-specific social media accounts: @vikingscanada (Instagram) and @vikings_canada (Twitter) in Canada and @uk_vikings (Instagram) and @ukvikings (Twitter) in the UK.
Per NBC Sports, here is the full list of countries and NFL teams awarded marketing rights:
Australia: Los Angeles Rams
Brazil: Miami Dolphins
Canada: Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks
China: Los Angeles Rams
Germany: Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mexico: Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers
Spain: Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins
United Kingdom: Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers