Steve Ziff, Jaguars vice president of marketing and digital media, talks about the parallels of the two industries.
By Carrie Resch
Ask anyone who has relocated to Jacksonville what they appreciate about the city and the answer is often the same: the weather, the beach and professional sports.
When the city was awarded a National Football League franchise more than two decades ago, it put Jacksonville on the map, or at least contributed to its recognition.
Today, the Jacksonville Jaguars work to maintain that momentum with stadium upgrades and entertainment choices, such as Daily’s Place.
The synergistic relationship between a city and its signature professional sports teams is evident as the existence of the team helps drive homebuyers to the city, who in turn serve to expand the fan base.
Steve Ziff, Jacksonville Jaguars vice president of marketing and digital media, commented on the parallels of professional sports and real estate when he spoke at last month’s Northeast Florida Builders Association Sales & Marketing Council Breakfast.
A driving factor of the Jaguars’ commitment to play on the international stage in London’s Wembley Stadium this season was the opportunity to promote Jacksonville to a worldwide audience.
“It’s important that Jacksonville gets global visibility as a city now,” Ziff said. If you want people to come here and build real estate and get involved in this city, you’ve got to tell them about the great things that happen in Jacksonville — you can’t just expect that they’re going to find it, he continued.
Stadium upgrades, such as swimming pools and cabanas, were also intended to contribute to the city’s visibility while at the same time expanding the in-stadium experience for fans.
Research indicates pro sports games today are as much a social event as a competition.
Football fan demographics suggest the average age of new season ticket holders is 43 years, and 75 percent of them have children in the home, Ziff said. And that demographic is starting to pull away from live sporting events. Therefore, the Jaguars endeavor to cater to families in non-traditional ways.
With the organization’s creation of new revenue streams, such as Daily’s Place, and the development of the Shipyards, the hope is that it will create more real estate opportunities.
“These are the types of things that we’re trying to bring to Downtown Jacksonville, and hopefully, that inspires more people to come to Jacksonville and buy homes and build real estate,” Ziff said.