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SBD Global/October 11, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Jaguars Will Face 49ers At The NFL's 2013 International Series Game In London

The 49ers defeated the Broncos in '10 in the team's previous London game.
The NFL on Thursday announced that the San Francisco 49ers will be the Jacksonville Jaguars' opponent in the '13 regular-season game at Wembley Stadium. The game, scheduled for Oct. 27, will mark the 49ers' second appearance in the NFL Int'l Series. The team in '10 won a 24-16 game against the Broncos before a Wembley crowd of 83,941 (NFL). Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan said, "This is a unique and important opportunity for the Jaguars franchise, as well as for our fans and community. To share this stage in our first year at Wembley with a rising power like the 49ers will bring additional attention and respect to what we're trying to achieve as a franchise. We can't wait to see our global vision for the Jaguars become reality next season" (London DAILY MAIL, 10/11). In New York, Brian Solomon wrote "For Khan, the match-up with the 49ers represents his first chance to fulfill his mission of bringing Jacksonville to the rest of the world." Recently in a Forbes cover story, he expressed excitement about the chance to win over NFL fans in London. Khan: “One of the good things is they don’t have a team loyalty, so we get a chance by being the first team presented; hopefully we can get them” (FORBES, 10/11).

MORE EXPANSION?: The NFL said that "other teams could take games to continental Europe or Latin America if the Jaguars made a success of their foray across the Atlantic." NFL CMO Mark Waller said, "We want to prove that fans here can become fans of a specific team." Waller, a U.K. native, added, "If we can make this work here, there are many other markets." REUTERS' Keith Weir noted European football clubs have "made themselves more attractive to sponsors by building a global fanbase who follow their matches on television and online." Khan: "The Premier League has led the way in terms of globalization. Perhaps we can learn some lessons from them about how to spread the love for the NFL" (REUTERS, 10/11).
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