American football’s NFL has appointed league executives Henry Hodgson and Charlotte Offord as general managers for the UK and Australia, respectively, as it looks to expand its international business operations.

Hodgson, a UK native, will move from his current role as NFL vice president of international marketing to lead the league’s UK business. He will move back to the UK from the US and report to Brett Gosper, the NFL’s head of Europe and the UK.

Offord, the current NFL UK senior director of marketing, will drive business in Australia and New Zealand. A New Zealand native, she will be the league’s first full-time employee in Australia.

She will report to Damani Leech, the NFL’s chief operating officer of its international business.

Both Hodgson and Offord will begin their new roles in July.

Gosper said: “The NFL’s development in the UK and the scale and complexity of the market requires the focus of a dedicated UK general manager to take it to the next level.

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“The opportunities for fan growth and revenue generation, the success of the London Games series, the establishment of the NFL Academy, the launch of the NFL Foundation UK, and expanded grassroots and community activities mean it is a very exciting time for Henry and the UK teams.

The move follows the NFL’s appointment of Alexander Steinforth, former managing director of the Deutsche Sport Marketing commercial arm of the DOSB, the German Olympic sports federation, as its general manager for Germany, which is one of the league’s key expansion markets.

The appointments also come after the NFL granted an initial series of 26 International Home Marketing Areas rights to 18 teams as part of its global commercialization plans.

Six teams including Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, and New York Jets have rights in the UK, while the Los Angeles Rams are the only team to have rights in Australia.

The NFL kicked off its international plan earlier this year, announcing each of the league’s 32 teams will play outside the US at least once every eight years, including regular-season games in Germany.

Leech said: “International is one of the League’s fastest-growing business areas and a key strategic priority.

“Within that, we have identified two leadership positions that will play a critical role in our future success and development of our sport.

“Henry and Charlotte have proved themselves as talented, creative individuals and we are excited about the opportunities for growth in their respective areas that these appointments create.”