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Professional Football as the Jacksonville Region’s Gateway to Foreign Direct Investment

April 6, 2017

Jerry Mallot is the President of JAXUSA Partnership, Northeast Florida’s regional economic development organization (EDO) based in Jacksonville. Learn more about the organization at JAXUSA.org.  

This post is part of SelectUSA’s EDO Spotlight series, highlighting the work of EDOs around the country recruiting foreign direct investment, how that work supports jobs and economic growth across the United States, and how SelectUSA partners with EDOs to support economic development.

A unique coordination between a National Football League franchise and a regional economic development group is supporting hundreds of U.S. jobs in Northern Florida.

In 2013, Jacksonville Jaguars football team owner Shahid Khan committed the franchise to playing a home game in London every year. We at JAXUSA pounced (like a jaguar, naturally) on what we saw as a great opportunity to leverage the football team’s international outreach for local economic development purposes. In partnership with the Jaguars, JAXUSA launched annual economic development missions to the United Kingdom to help initiate and build long-term relationships with international companies and organizations.

Those missions are already paying off for Jacksonville; here are just a few examples:

  • Greencore, an Ireland-based food-preparation company, established operations in Jacksonville, creating hundreds of jobs in our region. These operations continue to grow.
  • City Refrigeration, based in Scotland, selected Jacksonville for its North American headquarters, creating 110 new Florida jobs. The company operates around the world with more than 12,000 employees and is the largest privately-held facilities management company in the United Kingdom and Australia.
  • Resource Solutions, an international recruiting services firm, opened a global service center in Jacksonville, adding 75 skilled jobs. The London-based company, which provides outsourcing solutions for many of the world’s leading brands, is seeking to grow its operations in the United States. And as the company’s U.S. market share grows, so will its operations in Jacksonville.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) from the U.K. and other global locations is a vital part of the Jacksonville region’s overall development and sustainability strategy. Companies from more than 26 countries call the city home, supporting thousands of jobs in the Jacksonville area. Our investment missions, the dedication of JAXUSA investment specialists, and partnerships with organizations like SelectUSA help Jacksonville continue to grow as a global destination for business.

As for the coordination with the Jacksonville Jaguars? Our NFL-inspired U.K. FDI missions help us tell our story to a larger global audience. These missions help us connect with top company leaders and work toward bringing jobs and economic growth to the Jacksonville region. They also add a higher profile to our presence overseas and open doors to new investment opportunities.

Jacksonville is a competitive player in the global marketplace and as we continue to attract more international companies to our region, we strengthen our attractiveness to companies around the world. But the ultimate (field) goal is always creating jobs through investment that makes a real impact on our communities.

 

 

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