The NFL announced today the list of teams and countries in which they granted access to an International Home Marketing Area, or IHMA. The Chicago Bears found themselves a new home, of sorts, in Spain and the UK.
Essentially, what this means is the Bears can operate marketing plans and publicity-growing campaigns in these two countries. Beginning on January 1, 2022, the Bears can create content in those markets to grow the brand not only of their team, but of the NFL in general. They can make a primary focus on youth participation and growing the game of football in these expanded countries.
The Bears will now be able to create specific Spanish social media accounts and even hold events of the same caliber within the country of Spain. Their audience in the UK is quite strong as well, having played in London before. The Bears get to experiment with their target audience to create a new generation of fans.
Considering the Bears are still in the international rotation, it wouldn't be surprising seeing them play a game in Spain. Of course, Spain would have to approve as well and they would need a stadium to operate it accordingly.
The Bears on Their New IHMA Status
George McCaskey is on the NFL's international committee. He put out a brief statement regarding the IHMA status.
The Bears and the McCaskeys have a large role to play in the success of the NFL's international marketing. The intention is simply to grow the brand and the sport as a whole.
It seems the Bears have a lot on their plate at the moment. From the potential move to Arlington Heights and the restructuring of their front office and coaches to their IHMA status, the organization has a lot of moving parts in play currently. But this development is positive for the Bears and the NFL. The more the league grows, the better everyone involved becomes.
Some countries, such as Mexico and Germany, have many teams. However, the Bears got lucky to share Spain with only one other team, the Miami Dolphins. This creates a great opportunity for them to expand their audience and really drive home what it means to be a Chicago Bears fan.