The Year of the Pigskin – WSJ

 Public Resources Images Wk-Ai433 Nflchi 20070118212218Is China’s market for worth a bite? Maybe not now at least. But US is as keen on educating the Chinese as grabbing the market there. From the Wall Street Journal (photo: hopeful Gao Wei, via

While U.S. football fans will spend the weekend watching two teams advance to Super Bowl XLI, the National Football League is quietly laying the groundwork for domination of a different sort. Eyeing a toehold in a key growth market, the NFL is plotting its expansion into China.

The league spent much of last year holding tryouts and training camps to find two Chinese kickers qualified to attempt field goals on a pro squad. Next summer, the country will host its first NFL game when the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots meet for an exhibition game — dubbed the China Bowl — in Beijing’s Workers Stadium. And to help the public make sense of the game they call “olive ball,” the NFL has supported the efforts of 11 academics who have created a 300-page “American Football Encyclopedia.” [Full Text, subscribers only]



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