Adrian Peterson just returned from a trip to Asia, where he promoted the sport in Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai.
“The fans were extremely welcoming,” the Washington running back said, via Ryan Homler of NBCSportsWashington.com. “Their enthusiasm for football and sports in general made it clear that Japan and China would provide incredible environments to play an NFL game.”
The NFL has had an interest in growing the game internationally, having played regular-season games in London, Mexico City and Canada. While the league has played preseason games in Asia, it has never moved a regular-season game there for obvious reasons.
The NFL has played 13 preseason games in Japan, with the last one coming in 2005. A preseason game scheduled for China in 2007 was postponed and then ultimately canceled.
Peterson’s trip was with Red Phoenix Entertainment, an agency in Houston that “bridges American athletes, sport organizations and entertainers with global companies in order to expand sponsorships, branding and market presence,” according to a company press release, via Homler.
Peterson interacted with global fans and met with government officials all in the name of promoting the game. He hosted football camps, including one with members of Japan’s top football league, the X-League, and hosted a workout at the Great Wall of China.
In other words, it was a working vacation.