American football has never really caught on overseas, but a group of investors think the sport can succeed in a place where it hasn’t previously been tried: India.
The Elite Football League of India plans to kick off in the fall of 2012, and Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal reports that its backers include some familiar names to American fans, such as Ron Jaworski, Mike Ditka and Packers linebacker Brandon Chillar (pictured), who is of Indian descent.
The league’s investors believe India will embrace a popular American sport once Indians are exposed to it, and they’re reportedly already training rugby players in American football. A deal to televise games is in place.
Exporting American football to India sounds like an extremely uphill battle, but if the EFLI is serious about investing in the sport, the NFL should embrace it: With 1.2 billion people and a growing economy, India could some day become the NFL’s second-biggest market.