American football touches down in Germany
Published: 27 Jan 2013 22:30 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Jan 2013 22:30 GMT+01:00
Here in Europe the word 'football' is most often associated with Association Football, which has its roots in England and which is called soccer in the USA.
There is no other sport more widespread no bigger sports organisation than FIFA with more active athletes organised worldwide.
Yet today, American football played on the distinctive Gridiron isn’t only a sport for the USA.
The game is played globally; in Canada, Japan and Mexico it is played on a professional level and is even part of the collegiate sports system.
In Europe, American Football has a 35-year history and Germany has about 45,000 registered athletes.
American Football in Germany is considered an amateur sport; the top league is the GFL (German Football League) and consists of 16 teams in two divisions.
The Munich Cowboys was one of Germany’s first clubs to form and proudly boasts the record of most games ever played in the top flight of the GFL.
Aside from the men’s GFL squad, the Munich Cowboys has several junior teams in age-group leagues playing American Football (tackle) and flag football.
The club also has a full female tackle squad in a women’s GFL division as well as professional dance and cheerleading squads.
American Football in Europe is not part of any high school or college system, nor is it played on a professional level.
So playing American Football in Europe is about the love of the game - not money.
Anyone that has ever been involved in community sport will know it takes personal sacrifice, financial assistance and many committed volunteers to keep a sports club alive and field a team.
The Cowboys are financed through ticket sales, membership fees and, most importantly, from sponsors.
In Germany, bringing sponsors on-board can be a tough job because of the dominance of soccer.
But without sponsor support of, players would have to finance everything independently, which would deter many players from being able to participate.
Only with the support of volunteers and partners can clubs field teams and let the audience share in the fascination and excitement of the sport.
“Contiki Holidays are very proud to be partnering with The Munich Cowboys,” says company spokesperson Nicholas Halsall.
“They have proven to be an extremely professional, hardworking organisation that constantly strives to improve what they deliver.”
The Munich Cowboys are fortunate to have very supportive sponsors. They have well-known and long-term partners locally such as KultFabrik and Kings Hotel and over the last three years have built a great relationship with Contiki Holidays.
Halsall adds: “Contiki Holidays already participate in a global environmental organisation called Treadright and we see sponsorship of sport at a community level as a similar type of contribution towards promoting a better life.”
Article sponsored by Contiki Holidays.