With the NFL regularly planning multiple games overseas each year, sports travel has become an important industry for fans wanting to attend the games. Sports Traveler was founded in 2000 and specializes in sports travel packages to major sporting events all over the world.
“We offer packages to both individual travelers and custom groups of all sizes,” said Anbritt Stengele, founder and owner of Sports Traveler.
Stengele began her company before sports travel became a saturated industry, but she saw a need for it.
“I started Sports Traveler when I was still in college and still a competitive figure skater and coach,” she said. “I am a huge Dallas Cowboys fan and I wanted to find a travel package to a game on the internet, and I realized there wasn’t a site that offered these types of trips. The internet was still pretty new back then and so I set off on this project to create a website directory that offered sporting event packages. I was first a reseller for several different tour operators and in 2003 I changed the business model and started operating my own football weekend packages, gradually adding in travel packages to different sporting events as my clientele grew.”
Sports Traveler helps thousands of fans travel each year to a number of sporting events, including football, horse racing, golf, rodeo, baseball, and tennis events. They have also sent fans to nine Olympic Games and six World Cups.
Sports Traveler plans trips all over the world and to all different types of events, but they started by planning travel to games within the United States.
“The Cowboys trips were the original tour that I starting selling in 2000. That is our signature tour,” Stengele said. “Most of our football weekends include hotels close to the stadium, game tickets, transportation if the hotel isn’t walkable, stadium tours, and a tailgate party with former player appearances. For our Green Bay tours we have added a special Packers Heritage Tour of Green Bay, plus we go behind the scenes to the Packers Hall of Fame and get to see rare Packers memorabilia and artifacts not available to the public. For the NFL in UK packages we include London Passes and private airport transfers for every guest also. Depending on the schedule and matchups, we add different inclusions that best fit the fan base traveling.”
The NFL has five international games scheduled for the 2023-2024 season, including:
- Oct. 1 (Week 4) – Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
- Oct. 8 (Week 5) – Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills
- Oct. 15 (Week 6) – Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans
- Nov. 5 (Week 9) – Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs
- Nov. 13 (Week 10) – Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots
The NFL announced their international schedule in mid-May, and Sports Traveler began booking tours right away.
“Once the schedule is released it gets a little crazy for the next couple of days for us. We took in about 1,400 new email signups and requests in less than seven days this year,” Stengele said. “It’s mostly fans seeing the matchups and starting their planning process. The majority of our sales are directly from fans and we have a large repeat clientele. We have groups of fathers/sons or fan groups that follow a particular team every year to a different city.”
Sports Traveler does work with travel advisors in the United States and Mexico but they said most of their travelers are with individuals or groups booking on their own.
With the growth over the years, Sports Traveler has shown there is an important market for sports travel, and Stengele wouldn’t want to do anything else.
“I like to say this business fits me like a glove,” she said. “I love the challenges and I love being at the events with our guests. I’ve been fortunate to travel all over the world to watch sports with my clients.”
Learn more about Sports Traveler here: https://www.sportstraveler.net/
Learn more about the NFL’s international schedule here: https://www.nfl.com/news/nfl-announces-schedule-for-five-international-games-in-2023-x0246