The NFL huddles up Monday night for its first football game in Mexico City since 2019, and Banorte is a major player off the field.

The bank is a leading Mexican corporate sponsor of the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals, two NFC West rivals squaring off at Mexico City’s historic Azteca Stadium in the internationally televised Monday Night Football. 

“There’s a large and passionate fan base for American football, and we’re eager to welcome NFL back to Mexico City after three years,” said Banorte Chairman Carlos Hank González.

This will be the fifth regular season NFL game played in Mexico. The same two teams took part in the league’s first outside the United States in October 2005, with the Cardinals cruising 31-14 over the 49ers.

As a corporate backer, Banorte collaborated with the NFL on ticketing and organizing festivities before the game, expected to draw thousands not only from Mexico but also followers of the teams traveling from the California Bay Area and Phoenix.

It marks another of Banorte’s tier-one sports sponsorship that has included the Mexican National Team in soccer (otherwise known south of the border as football), the Mexico City Grand Prix, a Formula One Mexican driver and the last NFL game in Mexico City three years ago.

For the FIFA World Cup 2022, it is only bank partnering with the Mexico National football team. 

In advance of the Monday night game, Banorte partnered with the league in supporting the NFL Fan Race. It starts at 7 a.m. Sunday in the Chapultepec Forest, one of the largest city parks in Mexico. Winners gets free tickets to the game the next night.

“This race will be the main activity around the NFL game in Mexico. After a forced pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope to continue to count on the enthusiastic participation of fans of the NFL and sports in general,” said Arturo Olivé, general director of NFL Mexico. 

Banorte also is sponsoring a band at the Gameday Fan Fiesta, which opens Monday afternoon outside the stadium, with interactive games, entertainment, NFL merchandise, photo opportunities, food trucks, a beer garden and the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

According to ESPN, Mexico is said to have an NFL fan base of about 23 million, the largest outside of the U.S. and a number that is the combined populations of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston and San Jose.

In Mexico City, Azteca Stadium drew among the highest attendances for any NFL games – with crowds of 112,376 in 1994 and 106,424 in 1998 – and that was preseason.

“Only one team will claim victory Monday night but for those of us watching how the game has grown here, all of Mexico is a winner when the NFL comes calling,” said Carlos Hank González.