Russell Crowe on How To Promote the AFL to Americans
On the August 13th edition of Eddie McGuire's "Aussie Footy Rules America" program on SiriusXM, one of the guests was Russell Crowe. While Crowe is a NRL guy, he is an observer of the AFL and of sports in America. During the program, he was asked by McGuire about promoting the AFL to fans in America. He said, in part, "The thing about Americans is they love sport. What you have to break through, of course, is the monopolization in the football area of the NFL. And it should have because it is a great spectacle, it is a wonderful sport and it has grown and has history and all that stuff. So you have to respect the fact that Americans love their football, they love basketball, they love ice hockey, they love baseball obviously. You have to appeal at the highest level of that, not the lowest. Rugby League tends to be sold to Americans on the basis of, ‘Look at how brutal and stupid these people are,’ as opposed to, ‘Feel the excitement of a play that just suddenly opens up.’ It is a different way of selling it. If you sell it to the smart kids in the room, Eddie, AFL goes great in America because it is a tactical game, it is a game that requires incredible skill and dexterity. You can see the moves of basketball in it, you can see so many areas of athletic prowess required by the players. So that would be simply my advice: If you’re going to approach America as to the sport of AFL, play to the smart kids in the room.” You can listen to a recording of this below.