Growing the game: The NFL’s approach to building its global fanbase

For the second year running, this year’s Super Bowl was streamed in Japanese via NFL Game Pass – the league’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) platform. The goal? To bring new fans to the sport and serve existing fans better. It worked, the Japanese audience grew by triple-figure percentages year-on-year.

Japan is one of a number of countries on the radar of Samson Mayall, the NFL’s senior manager of direct-to-consumer. Game Pass delivers year-round NFL content to fans across Latin America in a range of local languages. Germany, a hotbed of American football fandom, has also been trialled. Behind each of these local language streams is Spalk – the remote commentary platform that makes broadcasting multi-language sportscasts simple.

In this episode of the Sports Loft Podcast, Yanni is joined by Samson and Tom Read, chief commercial officer at Spalk, to discuss the partnership, the NFL’s approach to developing global fandom and how direct-to-consumer plays a pivotal role in the league’s goal of taking football to the world.


Samson Mayall


Tom Read