VIDEO: Shanghai Nighthawks, American Football in China!

Shanghai Nighthawks are China’s first American Football team!


Via Nighthawks Facebook Page –

In the summer of 2011, a community of football enthusiasts between Gameday China (an organization that promotes American football in China) and TDL100 (a community of local Chinese American football fanatics) initiated the first full-pads American football team in Shanghai, the Nighthawks!

Since then, our brotherhood has been working non-stop to grow and hone our skills as a team with a focus on building awareness for the sport throughout Shanghai and China. The Nighthawks consist of 60 players on its roster who are in pads from head to toe. The Nighthawks are the most recognized American football team in China and we are working hard to maintain our status.

November 27, 2011 marked the first adult American football game in China, the inaugural Founder’s Bowl between Beijing’s first team, the Guardians, and Shanghai’s first team, the Nighthawks. Not long ago, there were no American football teams in Shanghai. Now, because of the awareness we have brought, and most importantly, the quality of football we’ve been able to display on the field, there are three teams (a group of foreigners split from the original Nighthawk organization to form Shanghai’s second team, the Warriors, and Fudan University students created the third team, the Dragoons)! In addition, there are a dozen budding communities throughout China who have established, or taken the necessary steps to start, a full-pads American football team since our inception.

Needless to say we are extremely proud of the progress American football is making in China and anticipate a promising future. The key to our success is a combination of the locals’ willingness to embrace the sport and the foreigners’ willingness to help support the locals–Gameday China created a platform to initially bring the two groups together. Without either group, American football would be impossible to expand.

This is precisely why we are appreciative of our Nighthawk community–we represent the passionate local population in Shanghai while reinforcing our team with skilled foreign players to give our team confidence, momentum and most importantly, coaching.

Our team consists of 65% local Chinese from all provinces and 35% foreigner from North and South America, Europe, Africa and the Asian Pacific.

We practice or play a game every Sunday (practice in the afternoon, games in the evening). We are currently in our post season training.

Contact the Shanghai Nighthawks!

Email: [email protected]

John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.