Here’s Why the NFL Is Teaming Up With H&M

As the NFL seeks to grow its global presence, it’s teaming up with a European fast-fashion staple: H&M.

The Swedish-based  retailer will carry NFL-branded apparel and accessories in over 20 countries, among them the U.K., China, India, Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Colombia. The deal, brokered by IMG, runs through the NFL’s 2020 season.

The first batch of men’s clothing, including jackets, T-shirts and sweat sets, launched today on HM.com. Items range from $15 to $30, making them more accessibly priced than other officially licensed NFL wares on the market.

The partnership aligns with the NFL’s ongoing push to expand its reach beyond the United States. In an interview with FN sister magazine WWD, NFL vice president of international commercial development Akash Jain said the H&M collaboration was “a fantastic opportunity to extend our brand across international markets.”

In recent years, the NFL has undergone efforts on a broad scale to boost its international reach. The league hosted five games outside of the states this fall — up from four the previous year — including four in London and one in Mexico City. Interest in the international games jumped this year, according to data from StubHub, with ticket sales up 55% for 2019 compared to 2018. The Super Bowl has also become an increasingly global event, viewed last year in around 25 languages in more than 180 countries. As the league’s international presence widens, insiders also say the NFL could be eyeing the launch of a London franchise within the next few years.

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