NFL UK commercial chief departs ahead of Wembley games

The National Football League’s UK commercial director Ben Dunn has parted ways with the organisation as it prepares, with sponsors such as Budweiser and Visa, for the revenue-spinning regular season games at Wembley next month.

Dunn’s departure is a setback to the NFL’s commercial efforts around the upcoming Wembley matches.

Dunn leaves the role just eight months after joining from the Telegraph Media Group where he headed up the newspaper’s sponsorship activity. The NFL said there was “no timeline” on naming a successor, with Dunn’s responsibilities being handled by international commercial director Marc Reeves in the interim.

Dunn has moved to Australia where he is commercial director professional rugby club Melbourne Storm.

The announcement is a setback for the NFL brand’s export in the drive to the UK following the expansion of its commercial arm in May. It leaves the organisation without a commercial lead at a crucial time for its UK sponsors such as Pepsi Max, Virgin Atlantic and Papa John’s, who are developing activity around the sport’s annual Wembley matches in September and October. It is the first time that two regular season games will be hosted internationally in a season. Capacity crowds of 80,000 are expected to attend both Wembley matches, according to organisers, and it is expected to boost London’s economy by £22m.

NFL chiefs are bolstering their marketing efforts in the UK, which includes a content push and plans to boost ad revenues from its online portal, to capitalise on the sport’s growing appeal. Additionally, the organisation hopes to use the region as a gateway into other European markets.

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