Pac-12 moving closer to playing football in China, Europe?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

And after that, the moon.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott announced that the conference would be going forward with it's Global Initiative, sending another three groups on tours of China this summer. The Pac-12 is trying to expand its visibility and presence in markets outside North America, and there is no larger market to tap into than China.

While basketball and other sports have already begun doing overseas tours, Scott said that football games in China or even Europe may not be far away:

"I think we will have football [in China] at some stage," Scott remarked. "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."

"People outside the U.S., not just China but generally, are not that familiar with U.S. college sports," Scott said. "There’s a lot of education that needs to be done about college sports in general and the Pac-12 specifically. In China, I would like the Pac-12 to be seen as the elite athletic conference in the United States with some of the best-known brands."

As for the upcoming tours, the Arizona State men's basketball team and Cal women's basketball team will play against a series of local amateur and professional teams, and a group of coaches including Oregon State's Craig Robinson will lead a series of clinics. A women's volleyball all-star team already made a tour of China earlier this summer.

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