Hello and welcome to the Jaguars UK newsletter.
Two games, two wins, and an incredible time had by all in London!
The time the team spent in London seemed to go by so quickly, and when we reflect on all the activities and events we hosted across our back-to-back weeks, we are very proud of what was achieved on and off the field.
We kicked off game week with Jags Country, which was a fantastic celebration of the Jaguars and country music. Brian Kelley, Tyler Rich, Alyssa Bonagura, Dea Matrona, and of course Clint Black gave fabulous performances, and the event at the OVO Arena was a new and exciting way for us to mark our tenth game in the Capital.
I hope those of you who made the trip to Watford to watch the team train at our Open Practice, had a great time. The young Jag Tag participants that were able to play on the pitch set the scene for a fantastic day. I know the players really enjoyed meeting and interacting with fans after the training session. They spent a lot of time talking, taking pictures and signing autographs, all after an overnight flight!
On the Saturday before our Wembley game, Evan Engram and Christian Kirk came out to meet fans and celebrate our partnership with Mitchell & Ness at LIDS in Camden Town. Not only did fans get a chance to meet the guys, but Lids also had our special 10th anniversary M&N product on display and for sale. The following Saturday, defensive stars, Foye Oluokun and Roy Robertson-Harris were at JD Sports on Oxford Street for another fan meet and greet. On both occasions the queues ran around the block and the players stayed longer than intended, to ensure everyone who had come out had an opportunity to say Hi. The guys understand how special and rare it is to meet our UK fanbase.
Following our amazing victory over the Falcons at Wembley on Sunday, October 1st, some of our players visited schools on Monday to meet with pupils, offer Jag Tag coaching on the field, and answer questions from the students relating to elite performance, their journeys getting to the NFL and what it’s like to be a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Our thanks go to Shaquille Quaterman, Erick Hallet and DeShaan Dixon who gave up time on their day off to spend with the students. You can watch Shaq’s highlights on our YouTube channel.
In addition to the visits to Queens School in Bushey and The Bishop Stortford High School, JagTag clinics involving almost 60 young people at Open Practice, and a JagTag Demo on Gameday, which was open to young fans attending the game, we also ran a Tight End clinic with Jags alumni Ben Koyack, which was a huge success. These clinics offer great insight and coaching to an older age group, who really benefit from this format. We are happy we’re able to add these sessions as part our community activities.
On Thursday October 5th we officially launched our Union Jax Foundation.
We are all immensely proud of the fact that we are the first NFL team to launch a charitable Foundation outside of the United States. As you’ll hopefully be aware, the Foundation provides sustainable solutions to tackle inequality, poor health, and supports the development of young people using the power of sport and participation. We are dedicated to making a positive difference to the lives of young people, whatever their ability or gender and we aim to grow the reach and diversity of our programmes following the launch. We were honoured to be joined by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell who spoke enthusiastically about the Jaguars commitment to the UK, our grass roots programmes, and our President Mark Lamping, who is incredibly supportive of everything we do in the UK and Ireland.
And if all of the above wasn’t enough, we went live from the Pavilion End pub, near St Pauls Cathedral, with all our Jaguars weekly programmes, Huddle Up and Jaguars Happy Hour. These shows hosted by JP Shadrick and Jeff Logerman, with special guests Tony Boselli were pushed out live on our Jaguars UK YouTube channel. We truly wanted to embrace being in London and again give our fans a unique opportunity to be part of the Jaguars London take over!
We ended the groundbreaking back-to-back games with another win against the Buffalo Bills at Spurs stadium, which made the ten-day trip even sweeter. Not only two wins in London, but another win at Everbank, and yet another win on the road in NOLA! What a great run for the Jags. Four in a row and all kicked off at Wembley stadium in front of over 86,000 fans!
Just because the games are over doesn’t mean we’re not still busy here in the UK. Planning is already underway for the expansion of our Foundation programmes into the Republic of Ireland, the 2024 Draft pick, next summer’s player tour, and all the ambitions that keep the small team here incredibly busy. Did anyone mention watch parties or the post season?!!
Until next time,
Vice President of UK Operations.