There are three difficulties in American football promotion, and we can compare it to the most popular football in the world.
American football costs are high, and there are requirements for equipment and equipment. Each team buys a full set of uniforms, helmets, pads, gloves and a lot of money. American football has many players, and the offensive, defensive and special teams are different. There are 82 scholarships for the American football team. Unlike football, a ball, two bricks to do the goal of the poor children can also play.
The rules of American football are very complicated. It takes time to understand, and you can’t figure out the rules when you play. Unlike the simple rules of football, it is good to kick the ball to the goal.
American football has high physical requirements for players and each position is different. The outfielder requires fast speed, responsiveness, good hand feeling and can catch the ball. The running back requires speed, strength and sharp turn, the ability to disguise. The linemen require a strong body. The quarterback must be flexible and pass the ball accurately. Playing American football specifically requires the team to cooperate. A tactic is not easy to succeed as long as one of the 11 people does not follow the tactical requirements. The United States has good material selection conditions and it is difficult for other countries to do so. This point of football is not so high for the player’s innate conditions. Messi is not tall, and the body can become famous. American football will not work. If the quarterback is no more than 6 feet 2, you can’t basically play because you can’t see the catcher in front of you when you pass the ball.
In Canada, American football has a certain market and they are still playing rugby that is very similar to American football. The NFL’s Buffalo Bills has also hosted the Toronto Series in Canada.
In Mexico, there is the college football league Organización Nacional Estudiantil de Futbol Americano. Japan not only has a college American football league, but also a professional league X-League.
In Europe, the United Kingdom and Germany, American football is also influential. Since the 1980s, the NFL has moved several preseason games to European cities such as London, Berlin and Barcelona, and has also hosted an NFL European League.
Even in China, which is developing late, American football is becoming a force to be reckoned with.
I think it might be more accurate to say “why American football is not as popular as it is in the United States outside the United States.”
Ok, I still borrow the concepts from the answers I wrote before, from the perspective of participation and appreciation.
Regardless of the rules of the flag, such as the flag, and the “two people standing in the backyard / beach to pass the practice”, the threshold for American football is not low. A few thousand pieces of equipment, even in China, where the economic level is already quite good, is not a small amount. In addition, even if a player can afford these thousands of pieces, he has to find a group of people who can afford so much money to form a team, at least 20 people.
After the team is formed, it is necessary to carry out physical training and tactical training together. All players also need to spend time researching and memorizing the tactical manual, otherwise the game will not be able to fight. This requires not only money but also time and will.
With a basic decent team, you have to organize the game. For the foregoing reasons, the American football team usually only produces in cities of a certain size, and it is necessary to organize exchange competitions in different places. Transportation and accommodation are a cost.
In addition, American football must have a referee, and the referee needs to have a deep understanding of the rules, otherwise the conflict is difficult to control and the players are more likely to be injured. All of this makes its amateur competition more difficult than other big ball group projects. This is the nature of the sport, even in the United States, its birthplace, out of the organization of schools, professional teams and other institutions, American football is also very rare.
There is a common bridge in the American youth film, that is, the high school coach mobilized before the last game before the final game: “Some of you may continue to play in college, but for the vast majority of people, this It’s the last time you’ve played an organized game in your life. Play well, you will remember today for the rest of your life.”
It is divided into two parts: the first is “why the ratings of high-level American football leagues outside the United States such as NFL and NCAAF are not high”; the second is “why there are few high-level leagues of American football outside the United States.” “.
Let me talk about the first item. Watching a sport two ways, watching the scene and watching the live broadcast, the current popular concepts are “offline” and “online”. In an ideal state, there are local offline channels that can promote brands, and leagues with high levels of online game resources have the best chance to dominate the sports market of a country or region.
Before the rise of television, there was only the way to watch the ball on the spot. So, until the end of World War II, the sports leagues of the British football league and the American baseball league had strong locality. Early football formation, world-wide management institutions and events have also taken shape, coupled with the global status of the British Empire, slightly dominated. The scope of the development of American football is basically in the United States.
The development of television technology after World War II changed the ecology of the sports industry. The live broadcast of the TV allows the team to circle the fans who are not at the home stadium, creating the NCAAF University of Notre Dame, the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and other domestic cross-regional teams. However, at this stage, American football is mainly faced with the problem of the steady growth of the US domestic market. At that time, the NFL defeated a series of local competitors, including the AAFC in the late 1940s, the AFL in the 1960s, and the USFL in the 1980s. Finally established the status of the United States’ largest sports league. During this period, it has no energy to expand overseas markets, at most, it is to compete with the Canadian CFL next door.
In the 1980s, the NFL tried to expand overseas markets. The most reasonable way was to go to a relatively economically developed region at the time, yes, Europe and Japan. The earliest overseas NFL preseason games were not held in North America, mainly in London, Berlin, and Tokyo.
But these countries have their own relatively mature professional sports leagues: League One, Bundesliga and Japanese professional baseball. After the European football entered the TV live broadcast in the 1990s, the NFL as a foreign household had no offline channels, and the second did not occupy the prime time of the TV (time difference), and it was difficult to obtain a dominant position. The NFL European League established in Europe is essentially the NFL reserve league. The connection between the players and the locals is not very close. It is difficult to compete with the local football league.
I feel that the NFL is now embarking on a relatively correct development model in Europe: no longer blindly pursue the establishment of a local league, but instead use the gradually expanding NFL London competition and supporting offline activities to build a fan base.
From the 1980s to the 1990s, the NFL ignored the seemingly underdeveloped markets of China and Southeast Asia. The lack of excellent local sports events in these areas is supposed to be a good place to make money in high-level sports leagues, but the NFL did not seize the historical opportunity to let the European Football League occupy the market. After the 21st century, the NBA took advantage of the popularity brought by Yao Ming to fire in China.
The NFL has lost its chance, and there is no Li Tie or Yao Ming. There is no way to set up a match in the prime time on Saturday night and Sunday night in the local time, just like the time difference and NCAAF/NFL vs. Saturday/Week. The division of the Japanese market, so it is impossible to have a dominant influence in the short term, but it should be no problem to stand in these areas.
The reason for the lack of a high-level American football league outside the United States is related to the participation of the sport. To have a high level of leagues, a certain size of “player pool” is needed. The talent transmission channels that exist in the high school/university amateur league to the professional league in the United States do not exist outside the United States, and it is difficult to establish. It is difficult to have enough players outside the United States to support a high level of leagues that can sell broadcast rights.
When we talk about the popularity of a sport, we actually talk about two dimensions, one is as a “participatory movement” and the other is as an “viewing movement.” Some sports are highly involved but low in viewing, like jogging; some sports are highly entertaining but low in participation, like WWE.
Let me start by saying that American football as an ornamental sport is not completely unpopular outside the United States. At least in Canada, Mexico, parts of Europe and Japan, it is worth mentioning. In recent years, it is also being established in China. Your own fan base. As a participatory sport, its popularity is much lower, but there is still a certain degree of amateur to semi-professional competition.
The first offense of American football started from the array. The current score, kick-off position, remaining time, current number of files and the distance required for the first gear will constitute a “situation”. The coaches of both sides will arrange the personnel combination according to this situation, such as several receivers on the offensive side? Do you want to list all the guards? Is the defensive side reducing the linebacker to an additional defensive guard, or is it investing more in the run-down zone?
After the array is finished, should the quarterback temporarily change the tactics with slang and gestures? Do you want to move your teammates to test their defensive mode? Should the defensive side first press a lot of people to the kick-off line to interfere with the blocking strategy of the opponent’s offensive line, and then return to the backcourt to strengthen the man-to-man defense?
Imagine that there will be 20 seconds left in the game. Team A is two points behind Team B, but has the right to play. However, there are still about 10 yards away from the relatively reliable shooting position. Both sides play the ball. The camera pretends to inadvertently sweep the head coach who is holding the tactical board to stop the mouth, sweeping across the top of the grandstand in the media room, and looking at the defensive coordinator who looks at the overall situation, before the sweeping of the stands, the party is in a difficult battle. At the time, the young running back, who was afraid to look up with a towel, swept the kicker who was warming up on the side of the field to determine the outcome of the victory. He swept the injured main quarterback wearing a casual dress and even swept a I buried my face in my father’s clothes and didn’t dare to face the little fans of life and death. Can these lenses be “meaningless sweeps”? These are just the proof that the level of rebirth of the American football game far exceeds the details of most other sporting events. Which broadcast technology is best in the European football world? I am afraid that everyone will say that it is the Premier League, and the Premier League has no way to compare with American football (NFL/NCAAF) in broadcasting technology.
After the end of the first gear, there will usually be different angles of playback, and then with the virtual reality enhancement technology to help the audience understand deeply, what happened on the field just now. For example, if you see the quarterback being strangled, but from other angles, the defender’s three cornerbacks and two security guards completely locked all the passing goals, which led to the quarterback holding the ball for too long. . For example, if you see a running back and riding a dust, you can find a large number of yards, but from other angles, it can be found that the blocking strategy of the offensive line helped him to tear open the mouth, and the whole guard helped him to fly the opponent who tried to fill the position. Linebacker.
In a word, the role of live broadcast technology for the audience to substitute themselves is the coaching team of both sides, and the enjoyment brought by people is also the double fun of intellectual game and physical collision.
American football has a lot of information, and “ball is moving” is only a part of the amount of information. It is quite funny to evaluate a sport. In football, is the ball long enough for exercise? There are also a lot of back and forth, and there are a lot of random damage. Song Ningshi is talking about basketball. Basketball games often have a lot of garbage time. Because there are too many rounds in the regular season, there are a lot of junk games that are meaningless in the second half. How do you count this?
In a word, after more than a hundred years of development and the blessing of the most advanced TV live broadcast technology, the American football game is highly ornamental. It has also achieved a certain market in areas that have received a lot of influence from American culture.
NCAAF is a pseudo-amateur and is based on alumni recognition based on the league, not to mention the NFL. There are many reasons to stop the NFL from developing overseas: jet lag, no local professional team, short season (it is really difficult to expect foreign friends to follow NCAAF and draft content, just like Chinese NBA fans, there are not many people watching NCAAB. ) are counted. But I think one thing is the most important: it is too successful in the United States.
The overwhelming advantage of the NFL in the US market may have caused it to lose some of its ambitions and not open up emerging markets (such as China in the 1980s) like the NBA. Emerging markets are the easiest to occupy in the early days. As long as your content is cost-effective, it will soon rise. And if the market matures, you have to rush in, even if you hold the content, the cost is much higher.
American football as participatory sport
Equipment, venues, referees, high demands on the physical fitness of players and relatively high injury rates, especially in the amateur leagues where technical movements are not standardized, are the disadvantages of promoting American football outside the United States, and the movement is basically not It may be promoted in economically underdeveloped areas.
But I also want to remind you that even if the sport has such a high threshold, it is still very promising. Taking China as an example, with the development of the economy, a large number of amateur teams have appeared in large and medium-sized cities in recent years, and leagues with certain organization are also appearing. I have seen some games of these amateur teams. What surprised me a lot is that some passers-by who have no understanding of the sport can understand what they are doing after watching the game for a while and can see it with great interest. .
The number of participants in the sport is not everything. For the high-thickness campaign, the number of participants is less normal, so it is naive to say who is going to explode. The characteristics of American football have determined that if there is no organized training and competition, it will basically not be able to fight, which makes it form a high school-university-professional league level three mechanism in the United States. Every level, most people leave the project forever, which is the root cause of the age composition of American football players.
But it doesn’t matter, the team life will be the memory that every American man who has participated in American football will remember countless times in the second half of his life. He will be the audience of this sport in the latter half of his life. For women, although they can’t participate in the sport, they don’t prevent them from watching the sport. They like to watch their brothers, friends, lovers, and children on the court.