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NFL in China, success or fail?

I've already posted this into another forum a few days ago, But as it's Superbowl XLV tomorrow morning, I thought, I would post my thoughts and observations here as well.

One thing which has always interested me since I've spent some time here. Is how the Chinese just love basketball and the NBA, and have done so for about 10 years now.

Last year when I was in Beijing I did notice some quite high profile NFL promotions. Then I came across this site this morning:
NFL China
NFL China, brought to you by CoorsLight. Which is interesting because I've never seen this beer in China. The most popular beer here is TsingTao, which has NBA endorsement.

China tends to be very protective of its own beers, and it was a very smart move of the NBA to get TsingTao sponsorship. NFL trying to introduce a foreign beer is just not going to happen. It's the same with cigarettes. Occasionally one will see Marlboro here, but one can just assume they're fakes.

NFL did try to establish themselves in Europe in the '90s and early 2000s, and failed.
NFL Europe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia... note the use of the past tense.

I'm thinking that this game is too complex to be understood and appreciated in China. I mean I've been trying to get to grips with American football for years, I still get lost and don't really find it exciting at all, well I am English. Which is probably why NFL failed in Europe.

Apparently there are also some efforts by the MLB to get baseball known and successful in China. IMO they might have better chance than the NFL.

Thing with basketball it's very easy to implement and play. An area of asphalt, couple of baskets, a basketball, and we are in business. Baseball dosen't really need much gear either. But American football needs a whole load of paraphernalia, and the rules are not exactly intuitive.

BTW English Premiership football and BBC televised snooker tournaments are also very popular here. These games are played widely here as well.

As I write this, Superbowl XLV will be on tomorrow morning, the premier NFL event. and CCTV(China Central TV) is NOT showing it. On the other hand CCTV does show a lot of basketball, including American NBA, Chinese CBA and Korean KBA. AFAIK the Superbowl will be shown in my native Britain, during the early hours, but it's not been shown here in China.


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