The National Football League announced today that the Chiefs have been awarded International Home Marketing Area (IHMA) rights for Germany and Mexico as part of the global growth of professional football.
"We are thrilled with the league's announcement today that the Chiefs have secured the international marketing rights to both Germany and Mexico," Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. "My father, Lamar, founded the Chiefs and the American Football League in 1960 to introduce pro football to new fans in new regions of the country. Over the last three decades, the Chiefs have been at the forefront of the NFL's global growth initiatives – building on the legacy of our founder to bring America's game to new fans in new places. We look forward to building relationships with fans in Germany and Mexico and continuing to share the best of Chiefs Kingdom around the world."
"We are currently enjoying the most successful period in franchise history, with some of the top players and coaches on the field as well as the support of a talented and dedicated business operations staff, and we believe we are uniquely positioned to be a leader in the NFL's global growth," Chiefs President Mark Donovan said. "We have an internal committee which has been leading our international efforts for multiple years and today's announcement not only recognizes the hard work that went into this bid process, but it also signals the start of an exciting challenge for our team and opportunity for our fan base in the coming years."
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2022, the club can start activating elements of its marketing plans in both countries, including posting on new localized Chiefs social media channels to engage fans, unveiling market/language-specific digital properties (Chiefs.com and Chiefs Mobile app), beginning paid advertising campaigns, signing local sponsorship deals, extending domestic sponsors internationally and aligning with local agencies with on-the-ground knowledge and expertise.
Longer-term, the club will invest in growing its fanbase in both markets through on-site activations and fan events, supporting and growing local youth FLAG Football participation, launching local merchandise sales initiatives, establishing partnerships with existing fan clubs, creating local community and social initiatives as well as exploring opportunities to play regular season games in the markets as part of the NFL's new rotation of International Series games.
The Chiefs and the Hunt family have been involved in numerous international initiatives over the past three decades, investing in growing the game and its fanbase globally and helping showcase the best of the sport on the international stage. The club previously appeared in four American Bowl preseason contests – Berlin, Germany (1990), Tokyo, Japan (1994 and 1998) and Monterrey, Mexico (1996). Over the past seven years the club has played in two International Series regular season games, hosting the Detroit Lions at London's Wembley Stadium in 2015 and taking on the Los Angeles Chargers at Mexico City's Estadio Azteca in 2019.
In addition to international contests, Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt sits on the NFL's International Committee, having served as Chairman from 2011-18, advocating for the expansion of the league's international efforts and NFL's footprint overseas. Through the 2021 season, 31 teams have played a total of 30 regular season games in London, while the league has hosted three regular season games in Mexico since 2016. In addition, Chiefs Cheerleaders and KC Wolf have visited more than 60 military installations around the world to show support for the men and women serving overseas and the club also has more than 15,000 youth already participating in Chiefs FLAG Football leagues in both Mexico and France.