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Pac-12 commish: ‘I think we will have football’ in China

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Notre Dame has already crossed the pond to play a college football game in Ireland.  Penn State and UCF will officially announce shortly, perhaps as early as this weekend, that they will do the same.

The Pac-12, though, has its eyes set on traversing a much vaster body of water on the other side of the world.

Speaking to the imitable Bryan Fischer of the Pac-12 Network, conference commissioner Larry Scott laid out his plans for the future “globalization” the league.  Select sports have already traveled or will travel to China in the future, with Scott noting that, given the conference’s positioning on the West Coast, “it’s only natural for us to look West with so many of our schools already doing it.”

Based on the sports tremendous popularity in the country, basketball will serve as a linchpin for the Pac-12 as it looks to penetrate that vast, collegiately untapped market.  While football is a different animal entirely than hoops — primarily larger traveling parties equaling much greater travel costs — taking a game overseas into China is something the conference has studied and will continue to study.

In fact, it seems more a matter of when and not if.

I think we will have football [in China] at some stage,” Scott told Fischer. “I think it’s more of a longer-term thing. I’ve done due diligence on it during my trips… It’s very expensive to bring teams over there and I just don’t know if it’s practically very viable right now. The NFL has been over there for years trying to develop fans and end up doing a lot of grassroots activity. It’s just hard when it’s not an endemic sport and that’s the beauty of basketball and the Olympic sports.”

Whether or not a college football game in China happens in five years or a couple of decades, it appears the conference in general and the commissioner specifically will leave no stone unturned in its quest to expand the league’s brand to a potential audience of billions.

Oh, and as an aside: Scott noted in his interview with Fischer that the acronym for the Chinese equivalent of the NCAA is the “FUSC.”  Now pardon me while I go take care of the irony dripping off of my computer screen…

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12 Responses to “Pac-12 commish: ‘I think we will have football’ in China”
  1. htru02 says: Jul 10, 2013 7:28 PM

    I’m sure it’s a lock to be a Thursday night game already… as to it being a Thursday night in China or a Thursday Night in the US is left to be seen

  2. Anoesis says: Jul 10, 2013 7:28 PM

    ‘…the acronym for the Chinese equivalent of the NCAA is the “FUSC.”’

    That’s the NCAA’s acronym for Reggie Bush.

  3. jrs45 says: Jul 10, 2013 7:46 PM

    Why?

  4. vincentbojackson says: Jul 10, 2013 8:23 PM

    I suppose we might as well export something to them.

  5. charles130 says: Jul 10, 2013 8:35 PM

    Maybe they can broadcast it on the PAC 12 network that nobody gets.

  6. alligatorsnapper says: Jul 10, 2013 8:37 PM

    Major empires were made here in the U.S. by made in China (WalMart, KMart, etc.) so maybe this will give us an actual export to China. Or just maybe the Chinese will keep a uniform and some gear and be making it cheaper there before our players arrive home?

  7. floridacock says: Jul 10, 2013 9:15 PM

    Why? Because of potential money, nothing else

  8. soundsofsuccess7 says: Jul 10, 2013 11:21 PM

    Screw this guy. Messing up the schedules of all the teams, now this..

    If they didn’t threaten to kick the rest of USC’s sports, USC football would be independent.

  9. billmead1976 says: Jul 10, 2013 11:59 PM

    Those boys in Texas messed up in conference realignment. UT and Okie should have gone Big12. 1.3 Billion Chinese people for an inaugural PAC-12 game – USC vs. UT. 1.3 Billion Longhorn or Trojan TShirts to sell. Iconic burnt orange and cardinal and gold. A billion TShirts. A Billion!

  10. John Taylor says: Jul 11, 2013 12:37 AM

    Those boys in Texas messed up in conference realignment. UT and Okie should have gone Big12. 1.3 Billion Chinese people for an inaugural PAC-12 game – USC vs. UT. 1.3 Billion Longhorn or Trojan TShirts to sell. Iconic burnt orange and cardinal and gold. A billion TShirts. A Billion!

    Good Lord Almighty, what a mess in every conceivable way…

  11. mogogo1 says: Jul 11, 2013 12:25 PM

    When I saw the headline I thought the guy had went crazy like Roger Goodell and wanted to put a Pac 12 school in China.

  12. 8to80texansblog says: Jul 11, 2013 5:31 PM

    I think you would have NO problem selling out the Birds Nest for a PAC 12 game in Beijing. Its sucks for the schools, but I think fairly interesting for the players and the few fans that make the trip.

    It makes all sorts of sense, Americans are now ironically trying to sell everything we have to the Chinese from KFC to iPhones. Why not sell them one more thing that is intensely American and that’s college football.

    Like the guy above with the crazy post said…. Its a billion tshirts…. when you put a billion in front of anything, it raises some eyebrows.

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