You know what they say, there are Eagles Everywhere! During Week 9 of the 2022 NFL season, that sentiment rang true as fans across the globe gathered to watch the Eagles defeat the Houston Texans.
At sites across three different cities in Australia & New Zealand, located more than thousands of miles away from the game itself, the Eagles hosted inaugural Official International Watch Parties, inviting fans to celebrate the team together.
"As an NFL team, we have a unique opportunity to reach fans all around the world," said Jen Kavanagh, Senior Vice President of Media and Marketing.
"Our first Official Eagles Watch Parties in New Zealand and Australia this November provided us with a special moment to really engage and energize our international fanbase. Eagles fans have an unrivaled passion and enthusiasm for their team, and we are excited to continue establishing a visible and growing presence for Eagles fans in Australia and New Zealand."
The parties were hugely successful – more than 500 fans came together across the three spots, proving that no matter where in the world you are located, the camaraderie that comes with being an Eagles fan does not waver. The parties brought together existing Eagles faithful, football enthusiasts, and new watchers of all ages from Down Under, perpetuating the electrifying atmosphere that so many love.
The initiative was carried out in partnership with the NFL's new General Manager of Australia and New Zealand, Charlotte Offord, who attended the Gold Coast event at The Sporting Globe.
"There's a lot of fans in the market that love the NFL. They've watched games religiously, and there's actually a lot of Eagles fans in the market that we saw come out of the woodwork for these events as well," Offord said.
Describing the day, she recalled fans of all ages and demographics arriving decked out in their favorite team gear, donning Kelly Green, Midnight Green, black, and white jerseys from all Eagles eras.
Within the sea of Eagles fandom was football radio show host Cameron Luke wearing a No. 1 Jalen Hurts jersey tee. He and former NFL punter Ben Graham served as emcees all day; the pair interacted with attendees as all immersed in the Eagles experience, enjoying wings, team trivia, and games. Australian Football League players and other former NFL players also engaged with fans, reveling in their love for the sport.
"Fly, Eagles Fly" rang loud and clear Down Under at the inaugural Official International Watch Parties!
"We had the helmets, the pads, the jerseys, and a massive Eagles backdrop, so people were trying them on, pretending to be American football players," said Offord.
"I think creating an environment that let people come and hang out with like-minded fans was just awesome."
Pat Murtagh was one of the former AFL players participating in the fun. While he was there, he answered a life-changing phone call – with the game streamed on all surrounding screens, he received notice from the NFL that he was one of 11 players selected to partake in the league's International Player Pathway program, which identifies outstanding athletes from all corners of the world that could have a chance to flourish in the NFL. Though he kept it to himself that day, Murtagh gleefully embraced the new opportunity, while watching a team that has TWO Australian players who similarly earned their shot that way.
The two are integral cogs in the 14-3 machine that is the 2022 Eagles team that finished with the most regular-season wins in franchise history while securing home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
As the postseason swiftly approaches, Offord hopes that the Australian and New Zealand contingent of football fans will continue to grow the community and support the team as they push forward on the road to victory.
"We can only really go up from here. We got people excited and involved and engaged at such an early, early part of the season. Now that the Eagles are approaching the playoffs, there's just so much more we can do to excite fans through the next few weeks," she said.
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