Khan hopes to be “Jacksonville’s No. 1 salesperson”


New Jaguars owner Shad Khan tried to buy the St. Louis Rams in 2010.  Now that he owns the NFL team that plays in Jacksonville, Khan quickly has become fully committed to his home away from home of Urbana, Illinois.

I’m in training to be Jacksonville’s No. 1 salesperson,” Khan told roughly 1,000 attendees at a JAXUSA Partnership luncheon on Friday, according to David Bauerlein of the Florida Times-Union.

Khan made his fortune via Flex-N-Gate, which manufactures metal and plastic automotive components.  And his business has required him to travel extensively to other countries.

He continues to hope to take the Jaguars to a different country, albeit temporarily.  And with the Rams planning to play a home game in each of the next three seasons and with the Jaguars under the current scheduling formula due to play a game at St. Louis in 2013, that game could be played at Wembley Stadium.

“I think the Jaguars are a powerful tool to introduce somebody to Jacksonville,” Khan said.  “Have them come to the game.  Have them come to the city and discover it the way I’ve discovered it.  Nothing could be more powerful.”

Though cynics may wonder whether Khan is merely trying to ingratiate himself to the folks who will be asked to buy tickets to a stadium that, if Khan has his way, will be shedding its tarps, Khan surely realizes that, by helping Jacksonville, he helps his team.  If Jacksonville can be boosted by the arrival of new businesses, the base of potential ticket-holders and suite-purchasers will grow.

And while some of our friends in Jacksonville think that we “hate” the city and/or the team because we acknowledge from time to time the possible connection between chronic struggles to sell tickets and relocation to a city where it won’t be such a challenge, I personally like Jacksonville.  I’ve been there twice, for a pair of Gator Bowls.  And Khan’s attitude could effect positive change there.

Besides, it would be unwise to bet against Khan.  He built a company that landed at No. 168 in Forbes’ most recent rankings, with more than $2.5 billion in annual revenues.  Though that doesn’t qualify him to make football decisions, it puts him in excellent position to make business decisions aimed at building up his team and the city in which it plays.

In time, Khan could be the best thing that ever happened to the Jaguars.  And maybe one of the best things to happen to Jacksonville.

27 responses to “Khan hopes to be “Jacksonville’s No. 1 salesperson”

  1. Great idea!Why not let the owner with the wicked mustache be the number one selling point for this team instead of All Pro Maurice Jones Drew their best player?

  2. As a Jag fan, we all love Wayne Weaver. But Shad Khan has started making serious moves with this team, leading it into a modern way of business. I believe the league will be shocked by the turnaround with this team this year. Our new coaching staff is amazing, when you look at their credentials. And Gabbert will be just fine , now that we have a WR and QB coach who have actually coached that position before, unlike the scrub coaches we had last year.
    Yes, we Jag fans are very excited about Shad Khan. Like I said, Wayne was great, but Shad is the future, and it couldn’t be brighter. Go Jags!

  3. “thinwhiteduke76 says:
    Feb 26, 2012 3:16 PM
    And I have to wonder if his N0. 1 sales destination is L.A. over time.”

    You can wonder all you want but you’re barking up the wrong tree.

    Khan is not some pied piper to Jacksonville. He has been doing business in this town for over 25 years. He made his fortune in auto parts and his first major contract was with Toyota in Jacksonville.

  4. How about putting a winning product on the field, try that and see if that sells??? I know its something that hasnt been done there in a long time, but try it. Going to leave the mustache only, that’s to easy……….

  5. @duanethomas, While I agree building a winner is the best way, and obviously they’re going to try to do that (should go unsaid with a new mega-rich owner who doesn’t need the team as a money making operation), I don’t think 4 years is “a long time” in terms of having a winning team. In 2007 they went 11-5, beat Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh in the playoffs and went on to lose to the then undefeated New England Patriots and took them to the wire. But other than another exit from the playoffs via New England in 2004, they have been mediocre so you’re point holds merit.

    But still, 4 years is not “a long time”, well maybe in NFL years, but still, their old GM (ironically now Detroit’s GM) ruined them with his drafts in 2008 and they’ve been rebuilding since. They had a step back last year but rookie QBs tend to do that. Even Superman Cam Newton’s team finished only one game better than Jax with way better offensive talent. Jax did have a damn good (although most injured in the league) defense though.

  6. Congratulations mike on your first positive article on jax. …..are you really surprised about how jag fans feel dissed? Just scan your last 50 articles about the jags and count how many are negative. Why just the other day one of your clowns wrote about blackouts that dont exist and just made up that Khan said tbe tarps were a sign of “failure” Weve got a good fan base down here beaten down a little from some down years…..tired of the moving lies and negative perception by the national media. Looks like you may have finally opened your eyes a little with this last article……we shall see

  7. And while some of our friends in Jacksonville think that we “hate” the city and/or the team because we acknowledge from time to time the possible connection between chronic struggles to sell tickets and relocation to a city where it won’t be such a challenge, I personally like Jacksonville.”

    Mike Dempsey maybe? I love how you two go at it.

  8. I would give Jax another 5-8 years…let’s see if the fans who started rooting for the Jaguars as kids will actually buy tickets when they hit late 20’s and early 30’s…and will they drag their kids along with them?

    If come 2020, they still have the tarps and struggle to sell out, then it’s time to go. I think if they waited this long, I would at least wait to see if there’s a second generation of Jaguar fans out there.

    Khan should continue to improve the stadium and maybe try and land Superbowl 52 or 53 before potentially bolting. If so, even if he leaves, it won’t be Art Modell-like.

  9. And while some of our friends in Jacksonville think that we “hate” the city and/or the team…………..
    We don’t “think” my friend, it’s pretty well been your main objective for the past 3 years now and you have been very successful at getting your followers on board as well. There’s nothing wrong with being critical of a city or organization as long as you back it up with facts. For instance, you’ve never explained that Everbank Field holds 67k with tarps still making it larger than 12 other teams and 78k without tarps. This is a pretty big fact to leave out don’t you think, but who needs facts when you want to get your point of view across. It’s pretty sad actually.

    On that note, Khan is and will be the best thing to happen to this franchise. Get your usual misinformed LA jokes in while you can. It’s what all the cool kids are doing and you all you monkey see monkey do people need to be cool.

  10. in the 07 playoffs, del rio played prevent the whole game. NE was up 31-20 with 6:39 to go in the 4th quarter. jax did NOT take them to the wire.

  11. Whatever makes you feel better cornpone

    I didnt go back and look at the box score to try to make my point… was 6:39 when Northcutt dropped a sure TD pass near the goal line? Matt Jones dropped a TD pass earlier in the game as well. If you think that game wasn’t competitive you didn’t watch it. How’d that Giants game go a few weeks later? How bout the Giants game this year? How many super bowls have they won since they got caught cheating.

  12. Wayne was a gentlemen first. Khan is a gentle businessman. He’s going to be kind, but he’s going to get the best deal for himself. He’s a different man. Working for Khan would be demanding but you’d enjoy great success while being motivated by a guy that came from effin’ Pakistan to the U.S. at 16 and built a billion dollar entity. He motivates.

  13. Many thoughts are going thru my mind at the moment, but this Steeler fan reacted just like all the Jag fans to your article; you finally wrote something based on a situation that wasn’t hugely biased. A good view of a new owner and his hopes for J-ville. And, I sure remember the game in Pgh. that the Steelers lost, a reminder that the Jags aren’t Bengal-like in production. In all your attacks on Jag fans and the city, I have never seen facts based on attendance in previous years, something that indicates whether there is support for a team. Again, look at the Bengals record. Many years of sell-outs until the fans finally rebelled at the long term results. I read a lot of you long-winded articles, not all, and this was one of your better ones. OK, hit the delete button, it won’t be my first.

  14. I was all-in for Khan until his unfortunate hiring of Malarkey. It just feels like more of the same for a franchise desperately in need of some fresh air.

    Unless he just goes crazy in Free Agency and the team finally has a decent draft I see more losses and the tarps remaining.

    I am a Jaguar fan so I’m not engaging in the ever popular Jag-bashing that’s so common on this site. I am just an unhappy Jaguar fan right now.

  15. Vinny, watch the interview with Khan on the first coast news site and the article on about expanding the fan base. This guy is legit.

    In the interview – Khan talked to all the big name coaches, they don’t want to coach anymore, they want to be in the studio. Gruden said he wasnt ready. Mularkey is the best of all the actual selections, and brought in a hell of a staff, unlike the QB and WR position clowns that were here before. It may take another year, but there will not be more of the same under this owner.

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