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Understanding the Popularity of the NFL in Africa



The Super Bowl may be the biggest event in the US sporting calendar, but the NFL isn’t something only people in America are following. Fans across the globe are tuning in to catch the action and keep up with news and events in the league.

The organisation, for its part, is also doing as much as possible to promote itself and have an impact across the world, which it’s certainly achieving. The international initiatives of the league help the NFL to identify talent from around the world for possible careers at its clubs, bring live games to other parts of the world through the NFL International Series and enable the game to grow by helping young people around the world to discover that football is for everyone.

This post looks at how people in Africa are warming to the NFL and how the NFL is trying to gain a foothold in Africa.


The popularity of the NFL Africa

Although the NFL still has much work to do to really win the hearts of Africans, there are some encouraging signs for it that the nation is growing fonder of the league. There are several reasons for this.

The availability of sports betting is one. As exciting as the league is, being able to place NFL prop bets and other types of bets helps to make games even more interesting for fans. To place a good bet, it’s important to follow events in the league and understand the game as much as possible. Sports betting is helping African fans engage with the league more.

Then there’s the fact there are so many different stars from Africa in the NFL. Osi Umenyora, from Nigeria; Mathias Kiwanuka, from Uganda; and Ezekiel Ansah, from Ghana; and others have all caught the attention of their people back home. There are more than 100 players from Africa in the organisation. African eyes are on them to see what kind of progress they make in one of the grandest sports leagues in the world and, of course, to get behind them.

Another big reason for the league’s growth in the continent has been the existence of streaming services. Like it has many other sports, the internet has made American football more accessible. Before NLF fans could only access games via American TV networks. Now, apps and features such as the NFL Pass allow fans to subscribe and access NFL games and other content from anywhere in the world.

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