The Patriots have a long-standing history while the Chiefs possess a strong and energetic presence.
New England is showcasing their six Super Bowl trophies. Would a yacht be a nice addition? Kansas City already has one, along with a star quarterback and tight end.
They’re all headed to Frankfurt to take part in two weeks of American football because beyond the games, there are German fans to win over. A lot of them.
According to Alexander Steinforth, the NFL’s general manager for Germany, the majority of Germans have not yet formed a team.
The fanbase consists of millions of people, making it a valuable resource for teams and the league which have already reached their potential within the country. According to the league, there are 18 million casual fans, which is approximately one fifth of Germany’s population, and 3.6 million devoted fans.
According to Steinforth, we are at a point of development where fans are actively searching for and choosing teams to support. This makes the current market very promising for franchises, as there is a huge opportunity to attract fans.
The first game will feature the Chiefs against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The following week, the Patriots will take on the Indianapolis Colts. Both matchups will take place at Deutsche Bank Park, the home of German soccer team Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Chiefs and Patriots, along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, and Atlanta Falcons, all have commercial privileges in Germany through the league’s global markets program. This allows them to enter into corporate sponsorship agreements, host events to engage fans, and sell merchandise just as they do in their respective home markets.
The chairman of the Chiefs, Clark Hunt, stated that since their game is in Frankfurt, they will be using their gameday production. The team also has rights to Austria, Switzerland, and Mexico. Hunt anticipates that the atmosphere will be similar to their 2015 London game, but the main difference is that they have been marketing in Frankfurt for the past year and a half.
The Chiefs have had a successful season, with their Super Bowl win and star players such as quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who is also the reigning MVP, and tight end Travis Kelce, who is having a strong season. Additionally, Kelce’s reported relationship with global superstar Taylor Swift has only added to the excitement surrounding the team’s games.
“We have impeccable timing as a franchise and we plan to be extremely proactive in capitalizing on it,” stated Mark Donovan, president of the Chiefs. He also mentioned that the team has invested approximately $1 million in preparing and organizing fan events for Frankfurt.
Some of the money was used to rent a Chiefs-themed boat on the Main River for fans to come aboard and take a photo with the Lombardi trophy, which the team earned for the third time by defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 in the Super Bowl.
Last year, both the Chiefs and Patriots were vying for the first regular-season game in Munich, but it was ultimately awarded to the Bucs and Tom Brady due to the advantage of having an extra home game for NFC teams. The Bucs emerged victorious with a 21-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks at Allianz Arena, which according to Steinforth, was the most successful international game in terms of viewership and merchandise sales for the NFL. He also noted that there has been a 9 to 10% increase in German viewership this season on free-to-air broadcaster RTL compared to last year.
According to Donovan, while there are five teams in the market, the Chiefs and Patriots have been the most proactive and established. New England has certain benefits due to their longer presence and presence of German players and radio.
In 2009, the selection of German offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer by New England sparked a rise in popularity. As a result, they began promoting German material in the country, which led to a string of Super Bowl victories. These successes coincided with NFL games being broadcast weekly on ProSieben, a free TV network. This season, the league has switched to the larger network RTL.
Joe Dorant, the Patriots’ senior director for regional business development, stated that they have been the top team for numerous years, but they are now facing tough competition from the successful and increasingly popular Kansas City Chiefs.
The six Lombardi trophies won by New England will be available for fans to see and take pictures with at “Patriots Haus” in the downtown area, and former players will be there to meet and greet community members.
Dorant expressed doubt about our ability to do something. However, we can demonstrate to the German population the values and principles of the Patriot way. Our track record of success over a 20-year period is unmatched by any other team.
Prior to Taylor’s arrival, Donovan noted that Kansas City was already leading the way in terms of Instagram and TikTok engagement among NFL teams in Germany. The Chiefs have the highest number of German Instagram followers out of the five teams in the market, but the Panthers hold the advantage on TikTok.
At this moment, it is uncertain if the 12-time Grammy-winning superstar will be going to Germany or not, according to Donovan.
Kelce will likely be asked about Swift by the people in the area. This is because Brady was interviewed extensively about his personal life following his split from supermodel Gisele Bündchen. During one interview, a TV producer even gave Brady Bavarian lederhosen.
What lies ahead for Kelce in Germany is uncertain.
THE OTHER FOOTBALL
German agencies and advisers were hired by teams to assist with deals, and the Chiefs’ sponsorship deals involve fast food and pet food. However, they were aware that soccer, being Germany’s top sport, would provide them with visibility without any outside assistance.
Bayern Munich, the reigning champion of the Bundesliga, has over 40 million followers on Instagram. In comparison, the New England Patriots hold the top spot in the NFL with 5 million followers. The German account for the Kansas City Chiefs has just under 46,000 followers.
The Panthers joined forces with Eintracht Frankfurt and the New England team welcomed the German national team to Foxborough, Massachusetts. Meanwhile, the Chiefs have formed a partnership with Bayern through FC Dallas, which is owned by the Hunt family.
In 1974, I had my first experience in Germany while attending World Cup matches in West Germany,” said Hunt, whose team is currently preparing to host World Cup games at Arrowhead Stadium in 2026. “We are excited for this trip and to represent the best of the Chiefs Kingdom.”
RUN IT BACK?
The next potential teams to play a game in Germany would be the Panthers and Falcons. The NFL has confirmed that there will be one game in Munich next year and another in 2025.
The Patriots’ Dorant stated that they have no problem with playing a game in the upcoming year and the following year.
The teams playing in Frankfurt, the Chiefs and Patriots, have been designated as the “home” teams. The Chiefs are highly sought after, causing other teams to be hesitant in giving up a chance to play against them.
Donovan stated that they aim to increase their presence in international markets. Currently, they only do so as an away team or when they have an extra home game.
It is highly anticipated that the NFL will renew its agreement in Germany. The organization has established an office in Dusseldorf that can accommodate up to 25 staff members.
“That’s the concept, to develop and expand within it,” stated Steinforth.
Dave Skretta, a sports writer based in Kansas City, Missouri, contributed to this report.
The AP NFL can be found at the following link: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl