What Khan’s Soccer Team Purchase Could Mean

Khan Joeckel

Jaguars owner Shahid Khan (left) is reportedly in talks to purchase Fulham FC of the English Premier League.

by Cole Pepper

There are reports that Jaguars owner Shahid Khan will buy a soccer team, Fulham of the English Premier League.

If this happens, what will it mean for Jacksonville?

For starters, there will be (and have already been) those who aren’t informed who will say that this, coupled with the Jaguars playing a game in London each of the next four years means the Jaguars will be moving to London. ┬áThat is very much NOT what this means.

For the Jaguars, this means that Khan’s interest in owning as much of the London market as possible is now expanded. This should help the Jaguars become more of an international brand. How? Think of it this way. How many Londoners knew of the Jaguars before Khan’s purchase. How many know of them now? And how many will know of the Jaguars after four games in London? Graph those numbers and it looks like a hockey stick.

If Khan buys Fulham, you will see this shirt worn by some fans at EverBank Field. (photo: fulhamfc.com)

If Khan buys Fulham, you will see this shirt worn by some fans at EverBank Field. (photo: fulhamfc.com)

Now consider Fulham. How many people in Jacksonville knew of Fulham before yesterday? How many Jaguars fans will decide that Fullham is “their” soccer team to root for in the English Premier League? There are so many cross-promotional opportunities. A double header of an NFL game followed by a Fulham friendly, for instance. As a note, the Premier League schedule runs from August to May.

How about some cross-over for Fulham? Fulham plays at Southampton the day before the Jaguars play the 49ers in London. Think that could be a hot ticket?

This could help in sponsorship for both teams as well. Jaguars president Mark Lamping has said repeatedly that increasing local revenue (not money from league agreements) is his top priority. The Jaguars/Fulham cooperative could access a huge number of sponsors for each team that previously, they could not reach. Granted, this will demand fair cooperation between the “boots on the ground” in the sponsorship departments of both, but when Khan says “do it,” it usually happens.

This move can also provide a serious boost for the push for pro soccer in Jacksonville. There is a push to get either a North American Soccer League (NASL) team or a United Soccer League (USL) team. Those would be potential stepping stones to an MLS team in Jacksonville. Having Khan involved in soccer, even in name, raises Jacksonville’s prestige as a soccer city.

There are so many ways to leverage the dual ownership, especially in a city gaining major momentum for soccer, that if Khan does indeed purchase Fulham, it might be one of the more significant business moves of the year for Jacksonville.

 

13 thoughts on “What Khan’s Soccer Team Purchase Could Mean

    1. Cole Pepper Post author

      Right you are. I’ll make the adjustment…still would be a nice additional event for Jaguars fans visiting London.

      Reply
  1. Prax

    Thanks for the write up! Would love to see a friendly played on EverBank Fields pitch… win win for the city and the citizens of Jacksonville!

    Reply
  2. Jason

    Those that think that Kahn buying Fulham automatically means that the Jags will move to London are completely misinformed. Malcom Glazer owns the Buccaneers and Manchester United. TB is not moving to Manchester. The owner of the Boston Red Sox owns Liverpool. The Red Sox are not moving to Liverpool. The former owner of the Cleveland Browns owns Aston Villa. The Browns are not moving to Birmingham. Kahn is simply expanding his sporting empire and it will mean huge things for Jacksonville. I strongly support the move. Go Jags!

    Reply
  3. Kei

    Ha, I’m a Fulham fan who has adopted the Jaguars as my team within the last two years (live in Orlando). Needless to say I’d be very excited to see what Shad Khan can do for both teams.

    Reply
  4. David

    Southampton only 90 mins from Heathrow. Huge EPL and Jaguars fan, and completely agree with your analysis Cole. Guess Fulham would become my second team after Man United. I would also second Jason’s comments.

    Reply
  5. Chris

    Praying they make a soccer team in jacksonville, would help jacksonville as a city but not sure we have a big soccer market, maybe in Miami though

    Reply
  6. Kermdog

    Utd! Utd! A huge Jags fan and of Man Utd! I would gladly shell out hard earned cash to see Fulham and Utd play at EverBank! Make it happen!

    Reply
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