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SBD Global/November 30, 2012/Franchises

NFL Jacksonville Jaguars Owner Wants Team To Impact London 'On And Off The Field'

NFL Jacksonville Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan hopes to weave his team into London's sporting fabric.
The NFL Jacksonville Jaguars in '13 will begin the first year of a four-year commitment to the NFL Int'l Series, "effectively marking them out as 'London's team', at least in the short term," according to Simon Veness of the London GUARDIAN. While the Jaguars "may not be the sexiest vehicle in which to test-drive this idea ... they do have one powerful force behind their London surrogacy" in Owner Shahid Khan. Veness: "Brace yourself, London ... here come the Jacksonville Jaguars." That "may not sound like the greatest call to arms the NFL has sent across the Atlantic," but listen to Khan "for a few minutes and your perspective on what to expect may change, and drastically." First, it "has to be said that he is not looking to move the team out of Florida." Khan gave a "verbal commitment to Jacksonville when he bought out the previous owner, Wayne Weaver, ... and he aims to see it through." Khan believes he can "put some bite back into the toothless Jags by going global." Khan said, "Point one for us ... is to tap into the U.K. visitor base here in Florida and we have made a point very early on to talk to the civic leaders for the area and the state as a whole to build a significant profile." He added, "Next year is our coming-out party. ... We need to get established with the local civic causes; we want to be part of the fabric of sport in London and it needs to be done on and off the field" (GUARDIAN, 11/29).
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