The New England Patriots have taken their next step towards playing a game in Germany. As was announced on Wednesday, the team will have international marketing rights in the country starting in 2022.
Germany is now part of New England’s so-called home marketing area. While previously limited to a 75-mile radius surrounding a team’s home city, the league loosened its rules recently to include international markets. One of those will be shared by the Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers moving forward.
What does this mean? The end game is obvious: the Patriots will play a game in Germany at one point in the future, possibly as early as 2022 or 2023.
While follow-up steps have yet to be announced, the Patriots, for the time being, will be allowed to kick off commercial activities in their new international home market. Those activities range from organizing team-sponsored watch parties or football camps, to entering business partnerships of any kind. Furthermore, the team will be allowed to open offices in Germany to further strengthen the relationship between franchise and country.
The Patriots being chosen by the league to venture into Germany should not come as a surprise. New England, after all, is arguably the most popular NFL franchise in the country.
Furthermore, the Patriots also have German-born fullback Jakob Johnson on their roster. A former participant of the NFL’s International Pathway Program who arrived in New England in 2019, Johnson was recently honored by team owner Robert Kraft for having played his 1,000th snap in the league.
“The NFL has been trying to expand into international markets, and we try to recruit international talent,” Kraft said during a press conference alongside Johnson earlier this week.
That process of expansion will now see the Patriots headed to Germany.