Super Bowl LI Houston to bring Bayou City international attention

Celebrating Houston, Football and Unprecedented Cultural Diversity

Super Bowl LI Houston, we have kickoff.  On Feb. 8, the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee received the “Super Bowl handoff”, a tradition that marks the start of another National Football League (NFL) championship season – a season that will culminate with Super Bowl LI Houston at NRG Stadium on Feb. 5, 2017.

Though it’s not the first time that the Bayou City has hosted the big game – the last time being more than a decade ago in 2004 – Super Bowl LI is on pace to be a far broader spectacle.   After all, the ceremonial football toss was streamed LIVE from the International Space Station.

And while Super Bowl 50 was a celebration of the past and present, Super Bowl LI promises to be a true celebration of the future.  So, it only makes sense that we are kicking off the next 50 years of NFL football in the most culturally diverse city in the country.

Celebrating Cultural Diversity

Over the course of the next year, downtown Houston will be transformed into Super Bowl LI HoustonCentral.  In the heart of downtown, the freshly renovated area in and around the George R. Brown Convention Center and Discovery Green will serve as the epicenter of celebrations, both sporting and cultural.

Leading up to the main event, that very area will participate in a 10-day party, dubbed “Super Bowl El Centro” by the local community, homage to both the city and the NFL’s ever-growing Latin American influence.  It’s also worth noting that the 2017 Super Bowl came down to a choice between Houston and Miami, another one of the country’s cities highly regarded for its diversity and Latin influence.

Sure, it only makes sense, given Houston’s status as a true melting pot, but it’s far more meaningful than that.

This is almost unprecedented in the world of professional sports, at least for a country known more for “American Football” than the traditional football that dominates many of these international marketplaces.  Forget sports branding and cultural barriers – the NFL is all in on international exposure.

International Brand Expansion

After overwhelming success in the United Kingdom, the NFL announced on Feb. 5 that the scheduled Monday Night Football matchup between the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders would be played in Mexico City.  This is no small move, considering it is the first time ever in the history of the NFL that a Monday Night Football game will be played outside of the U.S.

When he addressed the media after the announcement, Texans Owner Robert McNair stressed the importance of exploring international markets, saying:

“We are excited the Houston Texans can represent the NFL on an international stage for the first time on Monday Night Football…this is a great opportunity to grow our brand on a global scale, and we are looking forward to playing in front of a passionate crowd at historic Azteca Stadium.”

And you can bet that won’t be the last game in the Latin market.

In announcing it’s decision, the league also confirmed that it inked a three-year agreement after reviewing the passion of Mexico’s fans and a burgeoning Hispanic fan base here at home.

The numbers don’t lie.  According to recent statistics from the Nielsen Company, viewership for NFL games among Hispanics has risen nearly 30 percent in the last five years.  Imagine what the addition of a regular-season event in Mexico’s most vivacious city will do to unite multicultural audiences around the world.

Are you ready for Super Bowl LI Houston?

About the Author:

Flor Dimassi, GlobalSpeakWith more than 18 years experience in translation and interpretation, Flor Dimassi, CEO of Global Speak Translations, stays on the pulse of what is happening in the international oil and gas arena. She turns language and cultural diversity into business opportunities for her clients. Learn more at


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