Purpose: The purpose of this study is to analyse how professional football clubs have attained success with internationalisation and branding strategies in foreign markets. Design/methodology/approach: Based on an inductive approach, 27 semi-structured interviews were conducted to analyse the perceptions of Ghanaian fans of four English Premier League teams. Findings: The findings of this study highlight that the strength of professional football brand equity is jointly determined by the level of brand awareness, brand loyalty and perceived quality. However, increasing competition in international markets require professional football clubs to clearly define their marketing strategies to improve how fans perceive them. Originality/value: This paper is one of the few studies to use country-of-origin paradigm and signalling theory to explain football brand equity building, thereby extending the earlier work of Chanavat and Bodet (2009). Its empirical focus on Africa is also unique and provides evidence to suggest that global marketers have the opportunity to capitalise on market expansion opportunities in developing economies.