Earlier this season the Oakland Raiders announced they will play a home game in London. Last week they announced that they will be hosting the Miami Dolphins.
A few weeks ago, I read a report via Bleacher Report that said Al Davis would never consider forfeiting a home gome in favor of traveling across continents to Europe. The article talked about how the NFL pays the home team the same amount as if it were a sold out home game, but from a competitive standpoint it gives the Raiders only seven actual home games.
My thoughts are, what organization outside of the Raiders has an iconic logo and reputation? There are few organizations who have had as much influence on popular culture as The Raiders. We’ve seen rappers, actors, and all kinds of people have been seen rocking Raider gear as signs of Fashion rather than fan ship. Even on a smaller scale, the Raider logo has become a symbol of rebellion, and a statement of being unique. The fact is, like them or hate them, you know who the Raiders are.
Since Mark Davis became the face of the Raiders he has said that he is not his father. He has done everything he can to propel his Raiders into the times. Having a game in London is just another way Davis is showing he is committed to expanding the Oakland Raiders. He is also showing the NFL world, that this is not the closed market Raider team that your parents new. Rather this is the same Raider team in a global economy.
which brings me to my point, As a brand why wouldn’t you want to globalize such an iconic piece of the NFL and American culture. The Raiders represent a piece of NFL and iconic history. From a business perspective, the NFL needs to bring a rich piece of their history and brand into the globalization, so why not start with the Raiders? We have already seen the league make it a point for teams to do Hard Knocks, so it is only a matter of time before an overseas team becomes mandatory for teams. So if it is going to be any one, it mine as well be the Raiders.
As a bonus, expanding the Raiders brand can only help them appeal to the city of Oakland in their quest for a stadium. Or if they decide to opt for a stadium in The media capital of the world, Los ANgeles, well having a foundation in London can only make their franchise more appealing for Los ANgeles.
The Raiders already have two UK natives in Jack Crawford and Manelik Watson. The Raiders are already a symbol of popular culture in America. So why not build the foundation for fans in London. The Raiders brand is already a huge national brand, and now it is time to expand it to a global platform. Global Populations have already become familiar with the Raider logo from movies and music, so now its time to give those people a chance to buy into the brand of the Raiders. In the process, they might just become fans and followers. Either way this can only be a good thing for the Oakland Raiders and their brand.