The NFL has often been criticized for only being relevant in the United States. However, the league is making legitimate efforts to expand its reach by playing games overseas, and now the matchup is set for the Week 1 Brazil game. It will be the Green Bay Packers playing the Philadelphia Eagles on a Friday night in São Paulo.

From ESPN's Adam Schefter: “The game will take place in the city of São Paulo at the Corinthians Arena, home to Brazilian soccer team SC Corinthians. It will mark the first time the NFL has played a game on Friday night of their opening weekend since Sept. 18, 1970, when the Cardinals visited the Rams.”

Packers president Mark Murphy hinted at this possibility while speaking at the team's annual Tailgate Tour Tuesday, boasting about the organization's clout in the South American country, via ESPN Packers reporter Rob Demovsky.

“We’re either the first- or second-most popular team in Brazil,” said Murphy.

“Also, this is very important for the league,” Murphy continued. “If we’re chosen, we’ll gladly go.”

On Wednesday, Murphy spoke about the decision.

“We're looking forward to being a part of this historic matchup against the Eagles in São Paulo,” Murphy said, via Packers beat writer Wes Hodkiewicz. We're excited to play in front of our devoted fans in Brazil and help build upon the international popularity of the NFL and the Packers.”

Now that the matchup is set, what does this Brazil game mean for the league? Is the NFL turning a new leaf and finally becoming a global game?

The Packers' popularity in Brazil could help the league overall

Green Bay Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy speaks to media on April 11, 2023, outside Lambeau Field before the start of the team's annual Tailgate Tour.

Green Bay's influence in the country is impressive. The team has 4.8 million fans in Brazil, good for 12.5% of the country's NFL fan base, via Daire Carragher of 247 Sports. For context, Wisconsin only has 5.7 million people.

It's fair to wonder why the Packers in particular are so loved in Brazil. There's even a Brazilian Packers fan account on X, sporting over 23,000 followers. Murphy gave some insight into the matter later on in the interview.

“We’re kind of the people’s team,” Murphy boasted, via Hodkiewicz. “People really like the idea of a community owned team, with our history and tradition.”

It's human nature to want inclusion, and with Green Bay being the league's only team to allow fans to buy stakes in it, it's an easy selling point for the organization. Shares in the team are currently valued in the $300 range, via Pro Football Network (PFN).

“The Packers have been a publicly owned, non-profit corporation since August 18, 1923,” said PFN's Tony Catalina. “The corporation currently has around 537,460 stockholders who collectively own an estimated 5.2 million shares of stock following the sixth stock sale in franchise history that took place in 2021.”

In addition to Green Bay's business models, it helps that they're one of the league's most storied franchises. The Packers have four Super Bowl titles, with many iconic legends donning the uniform over the years. It's easy for a fan who's just getting into the sport to buy into a team with a community-based philosophy and a rich history of winning.

However, one logistical issue will need to be dealt with when the Packers go aborad, via Spencer German of Sports Illustrated. Murphy spoke about it at the NFL Owner's Meetings back in March.

“We’re very supportive of international play,” Murphy said. “The one issue with Green Bay, though, is the size of our airport and the size of our runway. We want to make sure we’re not at a competitive disadvantage in terms of how long it will take us to get to Brazil. There’s some thought we might have to bus to Milwaukee and then fly.”

With Green Bay's Austin Straubel Airport not being equipped for international travel, the Packers' commuting situation is more complicated than other teams. However, it's still clearly worth the trouble for both them and the league. The more the organization can capitalize and expand on its Brazilian fan base, the more respect the NFL will get globally.