News and Announcements

Ohio University to co-host American Football Summit at international partner institution in Germany

In advance of the National Football League (NFL) games in Frankfurt, Ohio University and its partner institution, the University of Bayreuth in Germany, will jointly host the first American Football Summit in Germany at the University of Bayreuth campus on Nov. 2, 2023. As part of the summit, OHIO Professor of Sports Business David Ridpath will also be speaking.      

American football is becoming increasingly popular globally, especially in Germany. The NFL will host two regular season games in Frankfurt on Nov. 5 and Nov. 12., and after a successful NFL regular season game last year in Munich, the two games coming up in Frankfurt sold out in minutes.

The focus of the summit will be on the historical background of American football in Germany and both economic and sporting aspects concerning the future strategy of the NFL in Germany, along with examining the efficacy of a European-based franchise.

Several prominent speakers will be at the event and part of several planned panel presentations either live or remotely. The lineup includes:

  • Paul Tagliabue, Former NFL Commissioner
  • Dr. Alexander Steinforth, head of NFL Germany
  • Oliver Luck (former President of NFL Europe and GM of the Frankfurt Galaxy)
  • Andrew Luck (former NFL quarterback)
  • Stefan Heim, Stadium Development at FC Nuremberg
  • Andreas Kufner, FC Bayern Munich
  • Gulden Henneman, Local Bavarian politician
  • Dr. B. David Ridpath, Professor of Sports Business, Ohio University
  • Dr. Tim Stroebel, Professor of Marketing and Sport Management, University of Bayreuth

In addition to the seminar, there will be several American football-related activities for the attendees to participate in. Those interested can try out their talent on a ball-throwing machine and learn about the nuances of the sport from members of German American football teams from Bayreuth and Nuremberg.

“We are very excited to conduct this NFL summit with our partners at the University of Bayreuth,” Ridpath said. “Our fruitful relationship has produced research collaborations, faculty exchanges and our cutting-edge undergraduate double degree program. This summit is another step in our mutual goals of preparing the next generation of sports industry leaders in a growing global marketplace.”

The event is free and open to the public and starts at 4 p.m. in the main Audimax auditorium of the University of Bayreuth. The language of the event is English. For better planning, participants are asked to register here free of charge.

Ohio University and the University of Bayreuth Sports Management Program have had a long and fruitful partnership dating back to approximately 2007. Both programs are considered two of the best in the world and it is a natural fit that these two universities and their sport management programs are taking the lead in training future global leaders in the business of sport. During this longstanding partnership, the two institutions have collaborated on cutting-edge research, faculty exchanges, study-abroad programs and more. This first conference in higher education on American football in Germany reflects the philosophy of the faculty from both institutions to take up international trends and to apply them to the industry worldwide.

European journalists interested in attending are asked to please contact  

October 25, 2023
Staff reports