The Minnesota Vikings landed in Manchester for an action-packed weekend of American Football activities. The franchise hosted a first-of-its-kind Flag Football Clinic for local school children before hundreds of fans descended on Box Bar in the city centre for a fully immersive watch party as the Vikings defeated the New Orleans Saints 27-19 at U.S Bank Stadium in Minnesota.
The Flag Football Clinic provided 500 children aged 11 to 15 at St Anne’s Academy, with their first taste of American Football via a range of skills and drills. Flag football is the non-contact version of American Football, played by boys and girls, and is one of the fastest-growing sports globally, with a wide range of physical and mental benefits.
The event was a massive success with all students enjoying their first experience of American football especially learning to throw and catch from Vikings legendary wide-receiver Jake Reed.
As part of the second activity of the weekend, Jake and the franchise were joined by some of the most passionate UK Vikings fans as well as excitable newcomers to the NFL for a watch party at a packed Box Bar on Sunday 12th November.
Bringing the spirit of Minnesota over to Manchester, fans recreated the unique atmosphere of the U.S Bank Stadium, from SKOL chants to traditional Viking costumes. Fans also enjoyed Vikings themed food, giveaways, a prize draw and were able to speak and have their photo taken with Jake,
Speaking on the trip, former Vikings receiver Reed said: “It has been an amazing weekend of events in Manchester. I had so much fun on the field at the Flag Clinic and it was great to see everyone enjoying the drills with smiles on their faces.
“The Vikings have a knowledgeable and passionate fan base in the UK, and it has been so good to meet all those repping the purple and gold in Manchester.”
As part of its weekend of activities in Manchester, the franchise hopes to strengthen its connection with new and existing fans in the UK, where they have marketing rights through the NFL’s Global Markets Program.
The Global Markets Program, which launched in January 2022, was previously referred to as the International Home Marketing Areas program. The program grants NFL clubs access to international markets for marketing, fan engagement and commercialization activations as part of an important, long-term strategic effort to enable clubs to build their brands globally while driving NFL fan growth beyond the US.