American Football Games are Gaining Popularity in Africa

Steve O Speak

American Football games are slowly becoming popular in Africa, and it is not by accident. The North America’s top professional gridiron league has continued to grow in popularity globally, including in Africa. There is a lot the NFL could benefit from the continent with 54 countries and over a billion people. When you look at sports betting platforms like Betway, you will discover that many Africans love the sport. The NFL is not the only popular foreign league in Africa. Other leagues such as the English Premier League and La Liga enjoy massive following from African soccer fans.

However, as mentioned earlier, the rising popularity of NFL matches in Africa is not by chance. There are several reasons why the sport is becoming trendier. Here are some notable factors:

African Players in NFL

There are several African players in the NFL. For example, in the 2016 NFL Draft, three players from Nigeria were selected from the US college ranks. This shows that African gridiron players were developing the required skills to thrive in the NFL.

The first African-born player to play in the NFL was Simon Mwikuta, who played for the Dallas Cowboys in 1970. After that, many other African players have featured in the league. These players act as NFL ambassadors in Africa, helping its popularity grow in the continent.

Availability of Thriving Global Sportsbooks

Sports betting has also played a critical role in increasing the sport’s popularity in Africa. Sportsbooks such as Betway offer African sports betting fans access to NFL betting markets. For example, you can place bets like point spreads, halftime scores, props, and total points.

Sporting regulations vary by country, but sports betting is popular in Africa. Moreover, some countries allow top-rated global sportsbooks from Europe to run their businesses in their countries. Data from these sportsbooks have shown that NFL betting is gradually becoming popular in the continent.

Streaming Services

Online streaming services have made NFL matches available in places no one would have imagined. NFL fans could only access the games from a few US-based TV networks in the past. Nowadays, things have changed.

For example, the official NFL Game Pass allows the league to bring competitions to different parts globally as long as they have an internet connection. With a subscription, you can access all the 256 regular-season matches. This has helped to make the game more prevalent in Africa.

Increased Participation

The best way to boost a sport is by encouraging playership. In this regard, several top-rated NFL Americans have taken up the challenge to promote the sport in Africa. For example, the Nigerian Institute of American Football (NAIF) was established in 2011 at Ahmadu Bello University.

The institution’s responsibility is to raise the awareness of the sport through training clinics for coaches. They also conduct academy camps for student players. Besides that, Amadi Chukwuema established the American Football for Africa Mission in 2010. He got support from the US Embassy.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, people are working behind the scenes to ensure the popularity of American Football grows in Africa. As the efforts spread across the continent, the game’s popularity will keep growing.  

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