Shortly before the kickoff of Super Bowl LVII, FOX's pregame broadcast showcased football fans from across the globe celebrating the occasion.
More than 200 million viewers were tuned in when the livestream cut to Accra, Ghana, where a passionate contingent of fans gathered at the country's first-ever Official Eagles Super Bowl Watch Party.
In a venue illuminated with green-tinted light and decorated with signed memorabilia from players like DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert, more than 350 Ghanaians expressed their newfound appreciation for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The event marked the end of a fruitful inaugural season of the organization's marketing and engagement efforts in Africa – it signaled a new era of Eagles fandom.
"It was so much fun connecting with fans of all ages in Ghana this past season," said Jen Kavanagh, Senior Vice President of Media and Marketing, Philadelphia Eagles. "The energy and enthusiasm from this passionate sports community continue to inspire us as we work to grow the game, and Eagles football, around the world. We are very grateful to the amazing people of Ghana for their support in Year 1 and look forward to even more touchpoints and celebrations with them in the season to come."
2022 was the first year the Eagles had a marketing presence in Ghana as part of the league's International Home Marketing Areas program.
The team's outreach began in June 2022 with a developmental skills camp and a fan event, setting the foundation for engagement before the season began. Since then, the organization has worked in tandem with GATE Africa and its co-founders Tuyee Yeboah and Alvin Bekoe to bridge the Eagles' community to Ghanaians.
"I think this has been probably the first football season, considering our relationship with the Eagles, where people were actually paying attention to what was going on every week," said Bekoe.
"I've never really seen people follow football as much as they did last season, just because of our relationship with the Eagles and everything that we've been working on. I think now, what's going on is we're getting a lot more people interested in the game."
The Eagles hosted an Official Super Bowl Watch Party in Accra, Ghana. Check out the best photos from the event!
GATE is a marketing agency in Africa – its purpose, as described by Yeboah, is to help brands from the West that are interested in the African consumer to connect with the community in Ghana and other African countries.
"One of the things that we're really trying to do is build a community around all things Eagles. With the Eagles having the season that they did, it just makes building that community so much easier because people love to win, right," Yeboah said.
"More importantly, Philly fans are intense. The love for the game that they have is crazy. So now, you get to connect to a winning team that has a fanbase with an incredibly deep love for the game and you become a part of that community. I think having that faith as part of the efforts to build the brand, and football in Ghana and other parts of Africa makes it so much easier."
Introducing football to a country that historically has associated the sport's name with one that's played with a round ball and feet, is no easy task. But when droves of Ghanaians arrived at the Beehive in Accra to watch the Super Bowl, the excitement was palpable.
"There was so much buzz and hype around it because this is the first time that a U.S. sports franchise is committed to doing events in Ghana. Across leagues. I don't think it's ever happened," said Yeboah.
"We wanted it to be an extension of being part of Philly."
At the party, fans were decked in Eagles gear with painted faces, and even banners reading, "It's a Philly to Accra Thing" – a variation of the team's postseason slogan with a Ghanaian twist. It resembled what one might find in Philadelphia on a gameday.
As the 2023 NFL Draft approaches, the Eagles and GATE Africa are strategizing ways to use the momentum from last season to continue the brand's growth in Ghana in the upcoming year.
"I'm really excited to see how over the next months we'll continue to put different things in place to connect the two cultures. What I hope for is, come preseason or come the opening game of the season, there's a strong Ghanaian community that's just as excited as Philly fans are to watch in the first game and to make another run for that Super Bowl," said Bekoe.