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Only one such club in Europe

2 months ago | 16.01.2023, 14:30
Only one such club in Europe

What is the secret of Panthers Wrocław's success?

Several hundred players, ten sections, competition for the European championship and viewership counted in hundreds of thousands - Panthers Wrocław is an absolutely unique club. In just ten years, the inhabitants of Wrocław have built a sports organization that is one of the most dynamically developing in Europe. In June, the Panthers will not only start another season in the most prestigious American football competition on the continent, but also play lacrosse, ultimate frisbee and softball. What may be surprising - because we are talking about a niche all the time - the Wrocław team is more popular than many recognized clubs from the most popular sports disciplines.

An organization that can be set as an example

Hearing in Poland the slogan "American football", we can have only one association - Panthers Wrocław. Established in 2013, the club is growing at an exponential pace, raising the bar higher with each season. When the Panthers were brought to life less than 10 years ago, they only played American football. Today, they call themselves the American sports club - because they also play lacrosse, ultimate frisbee and softball. In total, the organization has over 300 active players, both senior and junior. In addition, the Panthers have at their disposal one of the best facilities for American football in Europe - the Olympic Stadium. It is only one such organization in Europe.

Such rapid development must also be accompanied by considerable popularity, which is best demonstrated by the numbers. On Facebook, Panthers Wrocław are the most popular American football team in Europe - they are followed by over 30,000 fans. In Wrocław, in this field, they can only compete with the soccer team Śląsk and the speedway Sparta, but they leave far behind the basketball players of Śląsk or the volleyball players of Gwardia. What's more, Panthers promote the city not only in the domestic backyard, but above all on the international arena.

The growing popularity of Panthers Wrocław is not based solely on the continuous professionalization of the club and competition at the highest European level. It is also the result of the promotion of a sporty lifestyle among the inhabitants of Wrocław.

The vision of a professional American football club was only the first step in our development. Another was to build an American sports club. Today, our organization gives you the opportunity to practice American disciplines - softball, ultimate frisbee and lacrosse. Thanks to the expansion of the club's activities, the number of club sections has increased from 5 to 10 over the last three years. Thus, the number of players in the entire organization has also increased - from 200 to 350, and the youngest players have been training since the age of 6. This year we will launch the first U16 American football section in Poland. We are proud that so many young people in Wrocław want to train American sports, and we can give them this opportunity - says Michał Latoś , President of the Management Board of Panthers Wrocław.

European format club

Panthers Wrocław is one of the 17 teams of the prestigious European League of Football - an elite competition in American football, in which only teams invited from the most famous European metropolises - including Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Barcelona, Milan or Wrocław are playing.

Participation in the international league allows the club from Wrocław to be exposed on the entire European market, and even beyond it - ELF games can be watched in as many as 11 countries around the world. In the 2023 season, Panthers football players will play against teams from at least 4 different countries - Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

What is completely unobvious, Panthers Wrocław is one of the most watched Polish sports clubs - without division into disciplines. If we look at the viewership statistics, the games of "Panthers" leave far behind the numbers in such sports as handball, basketball and volleyball.

Last season in Poland, all Panthers Wrocław games could be followed on Polsat Sport channels, and their viewership was 60 000. However, when it comes to the German market, the average peak viewership of European League of Football games last season was 480 000, and Panthers games on German television are always very popular. Added to this are the figures achieved in other countries. This is several times more than the average viewership of Ekstraklasa matches in Poland (Top Division of Soccerleague in Poland).

Although the popularity of Panthers Wrocław may contradict it, American football in Poland still has the status of a niche sport. In Germany, however, it is the No. 2 discipline - right after soccer. The last Super Bowl was watched abroad by almost 2 million viewers on TV, and it is worth remembering that the game was played in the middle of the night in Europe. Regular season NFL games average 550,000 viewers. ‍These numbers look impressive, especially in the target group that has the greatest advertising impact (aged 14-49). It seems that the fashion for American football is also consistently moving to Poland.

Ambition and consistency as a recipe for success?

The sports goal of Panthers Wrocław is always the same - the championship. "Panthers" brings together the best athletes in the country, and every year they reach out to world-class players from abroad - both from European countries and the United States. Their class is best evidenced by the fact that one of the players who until recently delighted fans with his game at the Olympic Stadium - KaVontae Turpin - now delights millions of NFL fans in the colors of the Dallas Cowboys in the largest stadiums in the world.

Attention to the sports level pays off - Panthers Wrocław are multiple Polish champions in American football. They decided to play in the European league when the games in the domestic backyard ceased to be a challenge for them. In Europe, they are also at the forefront from the very beginning. As they repeat themselves every time - their main goal for the 2023 season is to advance to the final of the European League of Football, and then win the European Championship.

Building such a broad and thriving organization would not be possible without external support. From the very beginning, the Tarczyński company, its main sponsor, has been associated with the Wrocław team. The club also includes brands such as KFC or Rawlplug. At the same time, the Wrocław team can also count on solid support from the city. It is the combination of the above factors that enables stable functioning and constant development of the organization.