NFL names UK commercial chief

The National Football League (NFL) has appointed the Daily Telegraph’s sponsorship chief Ben Dunn to the role of UK commercial director as it looks to boost revenues here.

American football chiefs to accelerate export drive of the sport to the UK.

Dunn will look to increase partnerships with British brands as it seeks to make continued inroads into a market dominated by football, rugby and cricket.

He will lead a content push across all platforms to grow the sport’s brand’s fanbase. It is hoped the content push will expand the NFL’s revenue streams beyond merchandising and ticket sales.

He is currently in talks with potential partners to join a roster of UK-exclusive sponsors such as Virgin Atlantic and Chrysler. The sports brand’s tie-up with US retailer Best-Buy fell through when it pulled out of the UK last year.

Dunn says: “Commercially the ambition is to see just how big the UK market can be. The fan base is there at a time when more brands are looking to connect quality, relevant content with a targeted database of consumers.”

Dunn reports to UK managing director Alistair Kirkwood and replaces Marc Armstrong who joined fellow American sport franchise the National Basketball League (NBA) as its vice president of marketing partnerships in June.

He joins from the Daily Telegraph where he worked on the newspaper’s strategy to boost advertising revenues from its London 2012 coverage as head of sport sponsorship.

The NFL is one of the world’s largest and richest sporting businesses, with annual revenues of more than $9bn (£5.5bn) and the sponsorship push is part of wider bid to boost revenues from other markets to offset concerns commercial opporunities in the US will soon reach saturation point.

The importance NFL chiefs place in the UK is reflected in their decision to host regular season matches at Wembley Stadium since 2007. Fixtures in London are set to continue until at least 2016 and next year will mark the first time two regular-season matches have been hosted overseas.

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