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SBD Global/September 11, 2013/Events and Attractions
NFL Makes Push Into China With 'Home Field' Opening Kickoff Event In Beijing
Published September 11, 2013
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BEIJING THE NEW LONDON? Young said that an NFL exhibition game is very possible in the future, but did not specify when. Young explained that the priority of NFL expansion in China is to meet the demand and maintain continuous growth. He said, “I’m a big proponent of adaptation. It’s a process.” Asked about the biggest barrier against growth, Young replied football is not an Olympic sport, and the Ministry of Sport’s job is to “win medals for their country.” He said it is “not a barrier, it just slows us down.” Young added, “There is a long way to go, but it will come because of the product.” Throughout the ’13-14 season, GDTV Sports and Eurosoccer will air Thursday, Sunday and Monday Night Football live. Further broadcasting is available on regional stations.
NUMBERS TALK: Sports marketing agency CSM’s research concluded that more than 9 million people in China's top 19 tier cities have "a little interest" in the NFL, with the majority in one of the three NFL Home Field cities. Research further indicated that the NFL fan base saw a 35% year-on-year growth across the country and a 188% year-on-year growth in online live streaming viewership, with 1.4 million people watching the Super Bowl live streaming online. Its Weibo account, the Chinese version of Twitter, has increased its followers to more than 280,500.
Kristen Heimstead is a writer in Beijing.