NFL Public Relations firm

While Premier League soccer players and Major League Baseball players make headlines with eye-popping salaries, massive even for the generous rating system of professional sports, these two leagues pale in profit comparison to the NFL.

The National Football League is, far and away, the richest pro sport in the world. Odd, since pretty much no one outside the United States cares overmuch about “American football.”

It’s not for lack of trying. Pro football is back in London again, playing three NFL games at Wembley Stadium this season. The Jets and the Dolphins played at 9:30 a.m. ET, the kickoff timed for a better reception in Jolly Old England rather than playing to the appetites of fans here at home.

The gambit appears to be paying off, though slowly. Each game is sold out, that’s more than 84,000 tickets times three. Add to that the million plus British homes expected to tune in, and it seems all the love and frequent flier miles are beginning to pay off. According to the NFL, total UK viewership of NFL games broadcast on British television doubled last year, to roughly 13 million.

This slow approach seems to be working much better than previous attempts to thrust NFL football onto an ambivalent European market. The World League, which became NFL Europe, never really caught on like the league hoped. It was too much too soon, the epitome of the overbearing, oversharing first date. Now the NFL has changed tactics, trying to woo European fans with teases, a game here a game there, then one per year … now three.

Could there be an NFL team based in England soon? According to the NFL, they plan to have a London team by the end of the decade. Clocks ticking blokes. Better up your game.