In Week 6, the San Francisco 49ers hosted their first-ever official London watch party to cheer on the team against the Cleveland Browns. 49ers legend Joe Staley visited the Broadleaf Pub & Restaurant located in the heart of London to meet the UK Faithful and root for San Francisco from across the pond.
"It's huge," Staley said on the Pro Football Ireland podcast. "I think it's great for the 49ers in building their global brand. Obviously, it's one of the most proud franchises, I know that from the player side. Our fans are called the Faithful, they're everywhere and I love that it's expanding out here and that we're able to do watch parties like this. It's been a tremendous experience for me."
Due to the San Francisco 49ers long-standing history of success, the organization has become one of the most recognizable American sports teams. The fandom has grown globally, especially in the United Kingdom, and in early 2022 the 49ers earned access to activate in the market as part of the NFL's initial activation of its International Home Marketing Areas (IHMA) program.
This event was the first 49ers watch party in London, but the team's third watch party in the UK. Last season, the Faithful showed their support in downtown Leeds and at Elland Road, the historic venue of Leeds United Football Club.
"Hosting two watch parties in Leeds last season was incredible, and we are excited to bring the party to London for the first time this season," said Allie Dicken, Senior Director of Brand Marketing. "We are fortunate to have one of the best fan bases in sports, and the Faithful reside in all corners of the world. Being able to bring UK Faithful an authentic experience that allows them to directly interact with our brand and build community amongst each other is something that is very important to us."
The UK Faithful were in for a treat during the Week 6 matchup. At the end of each quarter, fans had a chance to win from raffles featuring 49ers prizes and memorabilia. Attendees also ordered food and beverages from a gameday menu while watching the 49ers on all venue TVs, providing an immersive game-watching experience.