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Bears awarded Spain, UK as IHMAs


In conjunction with the NFL, the Bears announced Wednesday that they have been awarded Spain and the United Kingdom as International Home Market Areas (IHMA).

Through the league's new initiative, the Bears will now be permitted to directly engage with fans and sell sponsorship rights in both markets. The Bears are one of two teams that have been granted Spain as an IHMA and are one of six teams with rights in the U.K.

"Being awarded the Spain and United Kingdom International Home Marketing Areas by the league is an honor," said Bears Chairman George H. McCaskey, who is on the NFL's International Committee. "We're passionate about growing the game of football abroad and continuing to develop the robust Chicago Bears fanbase internationally."

In 1986, the Bears beat the Dallas Cowboys 17-6 in the first American Bowl at Wembley Stadium. Since then, the Bears have played in London twice and continue to have one of the largest NFL fan bases in the U.K.

Being granted IHMA status will allow the Bears to pursue activities in both markets that are consistent with what the organization can do in the Chicago HMA for at least five years starting on Jan. 1, 2022. The team plans to curate content specifically for each market, including dedicated Spanish-language social media accounts (@Bears_ES on Twitter). A primary focus will also be supporting and growing youth football participation in the U.K. and Spain. Working with existing local fan clubs in both markets, the team will further grow those relationships into formal partnerships and be able to hold events and appearances there in the future. Through the NFL's International Games rotation, the Bears will continue to play overseas.

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