The NFL has three big events a year to grab the Chinese consumer: The Super Bowl, season kickoff and Nov. 11 — Singles Day.
From New England Patriots t-shirts to the chance to win an item autographed by Peyton Manning, the NFL has spent Friday promoting popular items to a prospering fanbase on the other side of the globe that's glued to shopping site Alibaba. Sales on football team hoodies, scarves and caps are also running, with free shipping on everything.
This is how North America's most-watched sport is participating in the world's biggest shopping day.
"I don't think I'm stretching it by saying the fans of the NFL in China are some of the most diehard fans in the world," said Richard Young, managing director of NFL China, in an e-mail.
According to Young, the number of people interested in the NFL in China has surged over 1,000 percent in the past five years to 19 million today. Despite the time difference (13 hours between New York and Beijing), over 1.5 million viewers are tuning in every week to stream games online, an increase of 30 percent over last year.
In February, over 15 million people in China watched the Super Bowl live, Young said, even though it started at 7:30 a.m. local time during Chinese New Year.