Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Make way for NFL’s international pathway

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Kara Lee

When people think of the Super Bowl, they think of two different aspects of it. 

Firstly, there is the game. Two teams who had overcome adversity and hate throughout their season and the road to success as they finally battle head-on for their shot at the Lombardi Trophy in the biggest football game of the year. 

Secondly, there are the commercials. Some brands have thrived on marketing during the Super Bowl and have even created traditions out of it. Budweiser’s memorable Clydesdales and little labrador puppy are engraved in seasoned Super Bowl watchers’ brains for eternity. The NFL is just another company that has taken the opportunity to market themselves during their own broadcast through memorable commercials as well.

From sacking during a gala, kids carrying a football across the country, to advertising women in football, this year’s commercial highlighted the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program (IPP).

The IPP program began in 2017 as a means to give athletes from around the world an opportunity to play in the NFL. In an effort to encourage the growth of the program throughout the NFL, each team has been given an additional spot on their practice roster that is to be reserved for an international player.

While this program does give international players an opportunity to play in the NFL, it does come with requirements. There are international players that retain their citizenship in countries aside from the U.S. Players must have two years of American high school experience or must complete it while in the program.

Since 2017, many players have benefitted from this program. Australian born Samoan Jordan Mailata, who plays as an offensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles, was drafted in 2018 and won a Super Bowl ring with them during his first season. Mailata still retains both Australian and New Zealand citizenship.

The idea for this commercial came from British Nigerian Osi Umenyiora’s success as a two-time Super Bowl champion when he played for the New York Giants alongside Eli Manning.

Last season there were a total of 18 international players in the NFL. The NFL just announced 11 additional athletes that will be joining teams in the NFL for the 2024 season.

“It doesn’t matter where you’re born, as long as you’re born to play,” Umenyiora said, giving hope to young athletes across the globe. 

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About the Contributors
Haley Aguayo, Assistant Sports Editor
Haley (she/her) is a senior at UTSA who is majoring in digital communications and minoring in marketing and will be graduating in December 2024. She joined The Paisano in the spring of 2023 and primarily writes for the sports section. Haley has since become the assistant sports editor at The Paisano. After she graduates, she hopes to work in sports journalism or do in-house marketing for a professional sports team.
Kara Lee, Graphic Editor
Kara is a communication major on track to graduate in 2025. After graduating they hope to work for non-profits that specialize in environmental concerns so they can give back to the planet that provides so much for us. When Kara is not in school or working they can be found either drawing or hiking.

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