The National Football League (NFL) and the American Football Verband Deutschland (AFVD) have announced a ground-breaking agreement aimed at expanding American football in Germany.
The NFL, the number one sports organisation in the United States, and the AFVD, the governing body for the sport in Germany, have agreed to actively support each other’s initiatives and to work together on programmes to develop American football.
The agreement is the first of its type between the NFL and a national federation.
Announcing the cooperation, JIM CONNELLY, Managing Director of NFL Europe, said: ‘The NFL and AFVD have a shared interest in the long-term development and expansion of American football in Germany. It makes sense for us to be working together to identify opportunities for collaboration and to lend the support of our organisations to each other’s programmes.’
ROBERT HUBER, President of the AFVD, added: ‘We believe this cooperation is an important development for the sport in Germany. We have many shared goals which may now be pursued jointly, using the strength and resources of our two organisations. We are looking forward to a very successful partnership.’
The NFL and AFVD have identified the following key priorities for the growth of American football in Germany:
Increased success of top-level football in Germany: The NFL Europe League, which has four teams based in Germany, and the German Football League, represent the two highest levels of the sport in the country. The continued success and growth of both leagues will be a priority for both organisations.
Elite player development: The identification, training, coaching and placement of elite players is an important objective for the NFL and AFVD. The bodies will collaborate to ensure that the best German players have the opportunity to reach the highest level of play possible, irrespective of their football background.
Grassroots: The NFL and AFVD agree that the development of the game at the grassroots level – in terms of players, coaches, game officials and administrators – represents the future of the sport. The two bodies will jointly and independently undertake activities to support and develop football at this level, including clinics and other instructional initiatives, sharing of information and databases, and the organisation of events and tournaments.
Commercial development: THE NFL and AFVD will work together to develop the sport commercially and to create assets in order to increase support from commercial partners such as broadcasters and sponsors.
Technical development: The two organisations will seek opportunities to advance the technical quality and proficiency of the sport in Germany and will share best practices relating to players, coaches, support personnel, officials and administrators.
Health and safety: The two bodies will ensure that all football players in Germany have access to the latest and most comprehensive health and safety information, including all applicable IFAF (International Federation of American Football) and NFL regulations on doping and use of controlled substances.
Government recognition and support: The NFL will support the AFVD’s ongoing efforts to increase support for the sport from government bodies at state and federal level. The NFL will also support the efforts of the AFVD, as part of IFAF, to gain Olympic recognition for the sport. The NFL and AFVD will maintain ongoing dialogue about developing a long-term framework within which all American football in Germany can be placed.
Public Relations Manager