SBJ/Sept. 2-8, 2013/Global Special Issue
Catching up with Shad Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham FC
Published September 2, 2013, Page 9
|Khan jumped at the opportunity to have his Jaguars play in London and develop a U.K. fan base.
“From the business aspect, there is one less home game ticket for our fans to buy, from budgetary purposes. To me, it was very important we have full stadiums. You need the energy, yes you want the money, but I think it’s more than that in football. You want the 12th person in the stand and you want the energy. You want people getting out from behind their HDTVs and into the stadium. That’s a huge challenge in the NFL. So internationally, Jacksonville and London, can work together to do that. There is a synergy. One and a half million British travelers come to Florida each year. I’ve already seen people going to Disney World who would take a day off and come for a game. I met several people who did that. It’s good exposure for Jacksonville, great for investment, insurance, banking, to all get that exposure in London. And obviously, on the football side, we need the money. There is a direct correlation between the top revenue-generating teams and success on the field. Green Bay is a small market team but it’s No. 4 in NFL revenue. The only way we are going to be able to do that is a combination — obviously success on the field is paramount — but we have to get sponsors. We have a full-time person we hired, Laura Oakes, who is our U.K. sponsorship director in London and she is selling and promoting. We have the Union Jax Fan Club; it has over 9,400 fans signed up already.”
“It’s really very meaningful to us. It is something that could add a huge amount of value to us and we can add value to the league, and take the game to the next level.”