Chiefs and NFL push social media marketing strategies to boost international interest

The Kansas City Chiefs encouraged Londoners to support their team by way of an international marketing campaign using social media. The Chiefs gave out “Chiefs Kingdom Cards” to patrons at stands throughout London the week before the Chiefs played the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium as a part of the NFL’s international expansion.

The “Chiefs Kingdom Cards” are clear cards with holograms of Chiefs players and icons. They were intended to be used while taking pictures around London with the hashtag “#KingdomsUnite” and many were entered in an online contest for a chance to be featured on the Chiefs’ website.

People were encouraged to hold the cards next to London highlights to spread word about the game on social media and to build affinities with the London audience. (Photo taken from www.kcchiefs.com)

Texas Christian University marketing professor Leone Robert said the Chiefs were trying to expand their fan base and influence with the NFL’s broader mission to include a team outside the United States in the next “5–7 years.”

Robert said, “The ‘Chiefs Kingdom Card’ marketing campaign is a shot in the dark. I don’t understand why Londoners would associate more with the Chiefs vs. the Lions because of a ‘Kingdom’ commonality. I don’t think many of them would know about that campaign in Kansas City anyway.”

Although Robert had his doubts about the effectiveness of the “Chiefs Kingdom Cards” he had hope for the NFL’s expansion.

Robert said London is a “prime” location due to it’s relative proximity to the East coast of the United States.

“These games (overseas) are a market test and the Chiefs are trying to maximize their reach through these social media cards,” Robert said.

It would be in the Chiefs and the NFL’s best interest to spread international awareness of the league and to try and to turn “football” fans into football fans.

Robert said, “The NFL already has both buyers (of a team in Europe) and sponsors lined up, but they need an audience to make it all work.” These “Chiefs Kingdom Cards” were an attempt to build that audience.

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