If you glean anything from the announcement that the Jacksonville Jaguars will continue to play at least one home game in London through the 2020 NFL season, it's that team owner Shad Khan is committed to making American football a household event in the UK.
The announcement on Thursday that the Jaguars, who are in the middle of a four-year agreement with the NFL to be the host team for the International Series through next season, has agreed to extend the current deal with Wembley Stadium, and will play there through 2020.
This announcement means the NFL is still trying to market its brand as an international sport, much in the same way soccer has become a universal sport for years.
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What this does not mean, as in the foreseeable future, is a team actually setting up shop in London on a full-time basis, something that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has spoken about in the past.
Khan and his Jaguars benefit from revenue the team makes by playing oversees, and it also helps the autoparts tycoon to further his ties to the European markets.
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NFL Is a Business
Khan owns the Fulham soccer club in the UK. He has used both to springboard business back in the states, especially in Jacksonville.
As Khan explained in an interview on NFL.com, the entire process of coming to America from Pakistan, to building his business to finally owning an NFL franchise is something he has cherished.
But as a businessman, he also realizes the NFL is as much a business as a sport and his Jaguars are trying to build on something with their current management team, the current coach in Gus Bradley, and a roster that is young and still learning on a professional level.
Along with the speculation of the team moving to London - as has been the case since Khan agreed to the NFL deal to play across the pond - there has been speculation at times he would move the team to the west coast to play in Los Angeles once a new stadium was built.
So far, and because of the increased support of the fan base in the city, moving anywhere has been taken off the table.
London has been hosting at least one game at Wembley Stadium since 2007. The Jaguars and the Bills are the second game being played this year across the pond. The New York Jets beat the Miami Dolphins earlier this year. The loss led to the firing of Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin.
Next week, Kansas City and Detroit play the third game to be showcased.
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