The Cleveland Browns have secured international marketing rights in Nigeria, marking a pivotal moment in the National Football League’s (NFL) Global Marketing Program. This makes the Browns the first NFL club to target and receive recognition in the Nigerian market, a move that also marks their debut in the NFL’s Global Markets Program.

The NFL recently unveiled plans for the third-year expansion of its ‘Global Markets Program’, introducing fresh clubs and markets for participation in 2024. This expansion was greenlit by the International Committee during the 2024 League Meetings held in Orlando, Florida.

JW Johnson, Partner at the Cleveland Browns, expressed excitement about the opportunity, stating, “We are excited to be awarded the Nigerian market to further expand the Dawg Pound to Nigeria. The game of American football continues to grow across the globe and Nigeria is an important market to be in with the increasing number of players across our league that take great pride in their Nigerian heritage.” Johnson emphasized the Browns’ commitment to fostering football’s growth in Nigeria through the Global Marketing Program, underscoring the importance of learning from and engaging with the Nigerian community to cultivate more opportunities.

Peter O’Reilly, Executive Vice President of Club Business, Major Events & International at the NFL, highlighted the momentum behind the Global Markets Program, emphasizing the dedication of NFL clubs to expanding the sport and nurturing their devoted fan bases worldwide. O’Reilly noted, “Clubs are seeing the value and opportunity in new markets and aligning with the league to accelerate that growth together.” He expressed anticipation for the program’s ongoing impact on global fandom and growth, envisioning its enduring influence across new and existing markets, with both new and active clubs deepening their strategic commitments.

Formerly known as the International Home Marketing Areas program, the Global Markets Program was launched in January 2022. It serves as a pivotal mechanism for granting NFL clubs access to international markets for marketing, fan engagement, and commercialization activations. This initiative forms part of a crucial, long-term strategic endeavor aimed at enabling clubs to fortify their brands on a global scale while propelling NFL fan expansion beyond the borders of the United States.

The Cleveland Browns’ foray into the Nigerian market not only underscores their dedication to global outreach but also signifies a significant step forward in the NFL’s mission to cultivate a more diverse and inclusive fan base worldwide. As the NFL continues to pioneer initiatives like the Global Markets Program, the league solidifies its position as a trailblazer in the realm of international sports expansion.