No one knew what to make of the Colts Cheerleaders in London, and neither did anyone believe what they were seeing, and for good reason. If you had taken a stroll through London’s posh shopping district on a dreary Saturday, you would have seen them gyrating on a turf field, and you didn’t need to understand the NFL lines to know that they didn’t quite belong.
The cheerleaders certainly achieved the objective that drove them to perform on that Saturday, quickly attracting all manner of onlookers who were not only happy to gawk but insisted on taking pictures with their phones.
These surreal scenes might sound a little difficult to believe but they most definitely happened, and the powers that be who organized the show had a specific purpose in mind.
The NFL is determined to make their mark on the U.K. They need to prove that American football has a global appeal and, in exporting the sport to places like London, they stand to make a lot of money.
The design behind the Colts cheerleaders was obvious; the NFL needed to show the appeal of the sport, and there is no better way to manifest the glamor of American sports than to unleash a bevy of Cheerleaders on a London street.
The fan event was supposed to promote the NFL game that will be played in London in a short while, and it makes sense that the league is working so hard to keep the upcoming event in the minds of Londoners.
Jim Irsay, the Colts manager, has said that not only does the idea of an NFL game in London appeal to him but he also likes the idea of the NFL having a permanent home in the UK. The NFL has been working towards bringing the UK into the American Football fold for a very long time.
Over the years, the league has taken steps to increase the profile of football in the UK. It has taken time, and Mark Waller (NFL Executive Vice-President of International) believes that it is time well spent to set the right foundation and take the sorts of progressive steps that will produce long lasting results.
The Giants and the Dolphins played a regular season game in London in 2007; a game between the Chargers and the Saints followed in 2008, both games not only succeeding but proving the viability of the NFL’s initiative to bring the game of football to the UK.
Many regular-season games have been played in London since then; in fact, ever since 2014, the NFL has ensured to play at least three regular season games in London. According to Marc Ganis, President of a leading sports business consulting firm, there was doubt with regards to whether multiple NFL games would continue to sell out.
The divisional game between the Jets and the Dolphins in 2015 succeeded well enough. 2016 will see the Giants and the Rams play a match on October the 23rd, the game taking place at Twickenham Stadium.
The Suburban location is nestled around houses; the success of a game here will encourage the NFL to hold future games in major locations like Wembley Stadium.
There are plans to start holding games at Tottenham’s new soccer Stadium in 2018. The NFL is determined to have a team situated full-time in London by the early 2020s; this would mark the irreversible growth of the game in London.