Excitement Across the Pond as Vikings Awarded International Home Marketing Initiative

Oct 29, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Wednesday brought the news of which franchises were awarded international home marketing initiatives and in which countries.

The Minnesota Vikings were awarded initiatives in both Canada and the United Kingdom. As a “UK Viking” myself, this is exciting news. I’m not alone in my excitement — the reaction from fellow Vikings fans over here has been very positive. 

To be honest, no one really seems to be sure what this exactly means. But the promise of fan events, a larger presence in the country, and merchandise sale locations sound great. You can buy online from the NFL shop Europe, but independent retailers have started to emerge.

Unfortunately, as I’ve discovered myself, the Minnesota Vikings selection is often sparse.

The Vikings getting involved with their UK fanbase won’t be a new thing. There has been an effort from the franchise to engage with their fans over here for a while now, including the launch of UK Vikings social media channels in 2018.

Social Media

You can find the various channels here: 

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

It is only right at this point to give a shoutout to the United Kingdom and Ireland’s Minnesota Vikings fan club, who have played a significant role in connecting fans over here with the team. As a proud member, you will usually find me on the game day feed in the Facebook group, where there are generally good prizes to be won for gameday competitions.

They also offer the use of a PO Box for members who want to import merchandise from the US. I’ve done it myself, and even after paying the postage from them to me and giving them a donation. It still worked out cheaper, not to mention the greater selection of items.

If you aren’t already in the club, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

UK Fan Club

https://m.facebook.com/groups/UKVikingsFanClub/

Among the fun things already being done on the social media channels is little video clips by players thanking fans for their support. The latest one this week came from Garrett Bradbury. 

The best one was asking to vote for the UK’s favorite player. Harrison Smith has the clear winner, and we got a video message from the Hitman himself — thanking us for voting for him and our support.

There is also a #LateNightVikes movement that they have been pushing hard this season. You even get a virtual membership card that gets virtually stamped when you stay up through to the early hours of the morning. Having done so for both night games so far this season, I was messaged by Minnesota Vikings UK, telling me they want to send me something to say thank you – I eagerly await what they are sending.

When the team you follow makes this kind of effort to engage with you, it does make you feel part of something, particularly thousands of miles apart. Other than the Vikings, I support my two local sports clubs, and that is it. I first showed an interest in the Vikings way back in 1995 – when I got a Madden game in a bundle of games and chose them to play with. 

Love

For a long time, I was very much a casual fan who didn’t understand the game properly. I didn’t think I could “love” a sports team I wasn’t locally connected to, but I was wrong. Now I live, eat and breathe Minnesota Vikings.

The fan club and Minnesota Vikings UK have played a huge part in that. I am sure there are plenty more people like me who feel the same and could feel the same in the future. This step into the international home marketing initiative is a great way to continue the growth of the game and, more importantly for us, the support for the Minnesota Vikings over here.

I am excited to see what they have in store for us UK Vikings over the next five years and beyond.