Fleishman wins UK brief with NFL team touted as possible first London franchise

Global agency FleishmanHillard has been appointed to help build the profile of American football team Jacksonville Jaguars as "London's NFL home team".

The Jaguars take to the Wembley turf for a 2016 game against the Colts
The Jaguars take to the Wembley turf for a 2016 game against the Colts

Having played several games in the UK and with its proprietor also owning a London football club, a London relocation for the Jaguars has long been rumoured. It would have to overcome several logistical hurdles to achieve that - and prove there was sufficient UK appetite for the sport.

FleishmanHillard's London operation FleishmanHillard Fishburn won the UK-focused account in a competitive pitch that included boutiques and two other global firms. It is overseen by new EMEA head of consumer Lauren Winter.

Read next: UK embraces American Football like never before ahead of Super Bowl 50

"As London and the UK continue to be an essential component to the Jaguars business, the work that we will do with FleishmanHillard to raise the profile of the Jaguars as London and the UK’s home team will be critical to our future success here," said Hussain Naqi, the SVP of international development for the Jaguars, which has consistently ranked among the weakest teams in the NFL in recent seasons.

Winter told PRWeek: "Our game plan for the Jags is to deliver all-star experiences and stories that excite new and existing fans on what makes this sport so great. Attend one game and you're in the brand. We will be building experiences that replicate that feeling and creating content that actually makes people feel something.

"London is The Jags' turf away from Jacksonville, and one of the most exciting homes of sport. The Jags have a great spirit and attitude – one Londoners will find easy to align to."

London calling

The first NFL game in London was in 2007, and the Jaguars first UK outing in 2013. The NFL International Series has grown to include four London games for the first time in 2017.

The Jaguars will continue to play one game per season in London through to 2020, with the Jaguars designated as the 'home' team in each case, meaning it gives up a matchday at its Florida HQ.

Jaguars owner, the auto-parts billionaire Shahid Khan, also acquired London football (soccer) team Fulham FC in 2013, which has helped fuel persistent rumours and speculation that the Jaguars might become the first NFL team to permanently rehome itself in London. Asked about this, Winter replied: "Nice try - you’ll have to stay tuned for those details."

The Jaguars host the Baltimore Ravens at Wembley Stadium on 24 September in a match that is already sold out.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in