We received an email from a UK listener, Steve Brown a couple of weeks ago regarding his attempts to purchase some Philadelphia Eagles merchandise online, and the hassles he has had. In an era where the NFL is trying to take the league global, Steve expected to see the marketing machine fast at work, and allowing all forms of NFL gear (specifically Eagles gear) available to new and old fans abroad. As he found, not so. The Eagles marketing machine seems to be behind the rest of the NFL. Frustrated and confused about the situation, he wrote in to us to express how he feels, and post some of the questions that he has about the team. With Steve’s permission, I’m passing that on here, as we have a number of international listeners and readers that are all Eagles fans. Any opinions on this situation? Have any insight as to why this would be happening? Let us know in the Comments of this post.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has expressed interest in another game in London or any other United Kingdom city for the 2010 regular season. Overwhelmed by the sellout crowds in both games, the commissioner feels that another game overseas for the fans would be great for the game and the league.
In 2007, Goodell told reporters, “There’s a great deal of interest in holding a Super Bowl in London. So we’ll be looking at that.” The Daily Telegraph recently reported that London officials have “received assurances from the NFL that … there is a commitment to bring the Superbowl to the capital in 2014.” The report comes a week after Frank Supovitz, NFL senior vice president of events, told the BBC, “We have had very substantive conversations with the city of London on what it would take for them to host it, what it would take for us to bring it there,” but added that specifics have only been discussed “superficially.”
Source: Finding Dulcinea
“We have been thrilled by the reaction of our fans in the U.K. through our regular-season series,” Goodell said during a live chat on NFL.com. “In fact, we are considering expanding the series to more than one game in a season as early as next year. All of our U.K. fans continue to impress us with your knowledge and enthusiasm to the point that it is realistic that you could have a franchise sometime in the next 10 years.”
So how are the Philadelphia Eagles gearing up to take advantage of the anticipated global expansion?
On 6th August 1989 I headed to Wembley, London for my first taste of live NFL football. The Philadelphia Eagles took on the Cleveland Browns and, since my last name is Brown, I decided that becoming a “Brown” would be too corny! Watching Randall Cunningham scramble about that day is a treasured memory and I have followed the Birds ever since.
I visited New York City in 2001 and saw the Eagles win 10-9 at Meadowlands. During that trip I managed to find an Eagles baseball cap in one of the sports stores, so I could finally wear some green.
When the first NFL International Series game was played in London in 2007 I HAD to show my true loyalties, especially as the Giants were one of the teams playing. I placed an order through philadelphiaeagles.com for 6 T-shirts, paid the $44 shipping and then another $35 import tax. It was expensive, but better than nothing.
A year later and the second International Series game was looming. I received an email from the Eagles store advertising free shipping to US addresses and immediately wanted to take advantage. I ordered a black Brian Dawkins jersey with matching baseball cap and had them mailed to a friend in the US. My friend then sent them over to me which saved a decent amount of postage cost.
Just a couple of months ago I made a flying 3 day visit to Philly and spent a FORTUNE in Modell’s though I couldn’t decide who’s jersey to buy to replace my treasured #20. I headed home and then the news came through… we’ve signed Michael Vick! This was followed a week later by an email from the Eagles store offering a 10% discount across the store on all orders placed within the next 4 hours. Perfect!
I logged onto philadelphiaeagles.com, headed to the store and picked out my new #7 jersey. When I tried to checkout however, I found that I could only enter a shipping address in the US, Canada or Puerto Rico. After a mad rush, I managed to find a friend in the US who was willing to send the jersey on to the UK and started the checkout process once more. But then I found that I couldn’t use my credit card as the billing address is in the UK! After staring at the screen in amazement for several minutes and with the clock ticking down to the end of the sale, I picked up the phone and called loooooong distance to Philadelphia. The lady I spoke to was extremely helpful, but was unable to process my order using a UK credit card. I gave her my previous order numbers and she explained that the store had been “upgraded” since then and could no longer take international orders. She suggested that I try Amazon.com.
Off I went to Amazon.com, picked out the same jersey (without a 10% discount) and then found that it could not be shipped to the UK! I managed to pay for it with my credit card though and it is being shipped to my helpful friend in the US who will then send it on. I’m really disappointed that my money is going to a random Amazon seller rather than the team I support.
I’ve since discovered that NFLShop.com takes international orders, but why would an Eagles fan go there rather than click “shop” on the philadelphiaeagles.com site that they’re already on?! Also, their product range isn’t as good, they don’t run the same promotions as the Eagles store and the Eagles don’t benefit from the sales (well, not as much as they would by selling the merchandise themselves). Incidentally, I checked the NY Giants website and they ship to the UK. Even the Lions ship internationally and after discovering that, I gave up in despair!
In recent years, TV coverage of the NFL has increased dramatically even though various leagues based in the UK and Europe have been and gone. A growing number of British football fans sit at home on a Sunday evening to watch the early and late games which run from 6pm through to midnight(ish). Many of those fans will buy team merchandise, so come on Eagles build your brand globally and cash in!