Luck of the Irish: NFL awards Jaguars marketing rights in Republic of Ireland

FILE - Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan on the field before an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Over the past 100 years, around 110 men and a handful of women have owned controlling portions of NFL teams. Of that select group, all but two have been white. . (AP Photo/Gary McCullough, File) (Gary Mccullough, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Jaguars continue to expand their international footprint, with the NFL awarding the team marketing rights in the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday.

The move comes through the league’s Global Markets Program and was approved at the NFL’s spring meeting in Minneapolis. The approval grants Jacksonville five years of access to the Ireland market.

“Since we arrived in London in 2013, we have made great strides in growing the Jaguars fan community outside of the United States with a committed and loyal supporter base already established across the country,” Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement. “Our Foundation reaches tens of thousands of young people each year through the delivery of community programs like JagTag and is committed to providing sustainable solutions to tackle inequality and to support the development of young people.

“I am delighted to be able to announce that we are expanding our marketing rights into the Republic of Ireland, which not only underpins our long-term commitment to the UK but presents us with the opportunity to amplify our trajectory of growth internationally. The Republic is famous for its love of American Football, therefore appealing to new Jaguars fans through meaningful fan engagement and bespoke initiatives that will contribute to communities in the Republic, will truly reflect the Jaguars position as an international NFL team.”

Jacksonville already had marketing rights in the United Kingdom and has played one home game in London annually since 2013 with the exception during the pandemic-affected 2020 season when all international series games were paused.

So, what does that exactly mean, and what will it do for the Jaguars?

The NFL opens access to select international markets and affords teams the opportunity to advertise, market and drive fan engagement in those. That gives teams exclusive access to those areas and builds their brand there. The Jaguars can market and engage with fans in their markets in Ireland and the UK just like they do in Jacksonville.

The goal is long-term growth in markets beyond the US. The NFL also awarded the Steelers marking rights in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Steelers have rights in Mexico as well.

The Jaguars reportedly make between 11% and 15% of their local revenue from playing a home game in London. Despite playing eight previous games in London, last year’s game against the Broncos was the first time that Jacksonville controlled every aspect of the game just like it would a game at TIAA Bank Field. Other games were largely handled by the NFL, with the Jaguars overseeing just portions of it.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.