Khan Can Use Soccer Team to Help Jaguars

Jul 15, 2013 -- 8:12am

By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)

The measure of a great businessman is not how much money he can afford to spend on a company or sports franchise. It has more to do with the ability to make that company or sports franchise not only be successful, but turn a profit financially and through the media.

Shad Khan is a man who has the ability to do that.

As a community, we have been so worried about Khan taking our Jaguars and moving them to Los Angeles or London that maybe we have forgotten what has happened in the last 18 months.

Khan talked about creating a “splash” when he took over ownership from Wayne Weaver. We all assumed it was through the draft or bringing in a high-profile free agent or finally tagging Tim Tebow as the savior of this franchise. What he is doing is creating a foundation here in our town that means he is here to stay.

We don’t need a player or mega deal to see this happening.

Last month, we were told of a $63 million renovation that will include the world’s largest scoreboards. He also has improved the conditions of the facility at EverBank Field and has worked to create the best experience a fan can ask for on a Sunday.

I had a chance to speak with Mr. Khan during the Jaguars minicamp. He was as genuine as the day is long. His words to me were perfectly tempered. “We need more people to be positive about the team here in Jacksonville.”

He is so right.

We are worried about a team moving, a soccer team being bought and a community being heartbroken. We listen to speculation from guys like Bart Hubbach in New York and Jason LaCanfora of We become obsessed with what hasn’t happened instead of what is happening.

So, in an effort to calm the senses, please repeat after me, “The Jaguars are not moving to London.”

After talking to people with 1010XL on the radio, listening to stories on television and yes, reading about how Fulham F.C. is going to lure the Jaguars across the pond, maybe we all have it backward.

We kid around about NFL owners owning professional soccer teams, but the international flavor of soccer really helps the football brand. The loyalty soccer fans have for their teams are quite remarkable. I liken them to NASCAR fans in their dedication. Soccer fans not only follow the teams, but the players and yes, maybe their owner.

You see where I am going with this?

The NFL has wanted to give the league an international flavor, play games in London and strengthen the worldwide appeal.

It has already done that. Khan knows this and bought Fulham because he is a huge soccer fan, but he also knows a great marketing tool when he sees it.

So, lets just think of the soccer purchase as a way to expand our appeal, not the other way around.

And if you really do not think Mr. Khan has our best interests at heart, just look at what has been accomplished in the last 18 months. You really cannot say progress has not happened and for all the right reasons.

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