SBD/February 14, 2012/Franchises

Jaguars Name MetLife Stadium's Mark Lamping Second President In Franchise History

Lamping will start Feb. 27 and will oversee non-football operations for Jaguars
Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan has hired MetLife Stadium President & CEO Mark Lamping "as the second team president in franchise history and the first since 1997," according to Tania Ganguli of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. Khan Saturday offered the job to Lamping, who will "oversee non-football operations." Both he and Jaguars GM Gene Smith "will report directly to Khan, with Smith handling on-the-field matters." Khan said of Lamping, "I think he’s going to be an absolutely wonderful addition in supplementing the weaknesses I have, and frankly the Jaguars organization has on the business side.” Lamping had a "five-year contract with MetLife Stadium and is leaving after his fourth year." With an opportunity to "work for the Jaguars and his contract nearing its end with MetLife Stadium, Lamping decided it was time." He said, "We’ve been able to achieve some very significant things in a short amount of time. I knew that this job had a start and an end. As much as (Giants owner) John Mara and (Jets owner) Woody (Johnson) would have liked that I stay on long-term, I really felt a very strong desire to hopefully stay in the NFL and do it with a team. … I would love to be a part of an organization that can bring a Super Bowl championship to Jacksonville.” He will "begin work with the Jaguars on Feb. 27." Lamping previously served as MLB Cardinals President from '94-'08, and yesterday "drew comparisons between the Jaguars now and the Cardinals in 1994." He emphasized the "need to turn the Jaguars into a regional brand, not just one that connects with Jacksonville." Lamping: "They have focused on building the Cardinal brand throughout the Midwest and as a result they have about 40 percent of their fans that travel for regional markets that come to St. Louis to enjoy Cardinal games. So we need to start at the center of the target and make sure we’re very, very strong in the Jacksonville community but have a very focused and concentrated effort to develop the regional markets outside Jacksonville" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 2/14). In N.J., John Brennan notes at MetLife Stadium, Lamping managed the "sometimes-challenging task of getting the Giants and Jets -- rivals on the field and having different philosophies off the field -- to work together to build the only stadium that is home to two NFL teams" (Bergen RECORD, 2/14).

TEAM TEAL: The FLORIDA TIMES-UNION's Ganguli notes the Jaguars yesterday held their "Team Teal kickoff rally indoors in the stadium’s West Club." There was "hardly room to walk as about 1,500 Jaguars fans packed into the room for the beginning of a new initiative to sell Jaguars tickets and stop ticket sales problems." To help that goal, Team Teal President and former NFLer Tony Boselli "announced a new ticket sales initiative in which season-ticket holders will be paid for referrals." Fans will receive "$25 for each general bowl referral and $100 for each club seat referral." Ganguli notes Team Teal began in '10 "as a response to the 2009 season, when the Jaguars had nine of 10 home games blacked out, including two preseason games." Since then, the Jaguars "haven’t had any blackouts, but ticket sales haven’t been easy." The Jaguars will "have Team Teal rallies throughout the area this offseason at parks and country clubs." At this point last year, the Jaguars "only had about 450 new tickets sold and have more than 1,000 this year" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 2/14).
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