The new era now has a new look and identity.
Shad Khan, a year and a month into his tenure as Jaguars owner, late Tuesday afternoon introduced a new logo for the franchise – a critical component of the first major rebranding for the organization since the team began play during the 1995 NFL season.
The logo was unveiled around 4:08 p.m. in the West Touchdown club at EverBank Field in downtown Jacksonville. Reaction was immediate.
"Now, that's a cool cat," Khan said.
Khan and Jaguars President Mark Lamping spoke to the media for about 45 minutes, covering topics from in-stadium upgrades, to ticket prices for 2013 to the team's game against the San Francisco 49ers at Wembley Stadium in London on October 27.
New Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell and new Head Coach Gus Bradley attended the event, as did Jacksonville City Council members, former Jaguars players and team sponsors on what Lamping called "an important day for us."
"The Super Bowl was Sunday, and the 2012 season is history," Lamping said. "Our new season begins today."
Lamping called the day the start of a "new era for the Jaguars."
The press conference was dubbed "2013 State of the Franchise," and as Khan sees it, the franchise is in a good state indeed.
"We now in my opinion have the ideal franchise model with incredible leadership on both sides – the business side and the football side," Khan said. "We have a game plan for success that won't be limited just to weekends in the fall. I am confident the victories will come.
"I also feel this really is a critical time to harness momentum under a strong brand promise to ourselves, our fans and the people who serve."
The Jaguars' new primary logo was termed a "vibrant redesign" of the team's long-time logo, which has adorned its helmets since the 1995 expansion season. The rebranding also features the introduction of a military-inspired secondary logo.
The primary logo will be on the helmets in 2013, Khan said.
"We will be bold and our new logo type is bold," Lamping said.
The rebranding will be accompanied in 2013 by the theme, "Stand United," which the team said in a statement "universally speaks to the new era ahead for the team and the rallying spirit of Jaguars fans for nearly two decades."
"We are experiencing a rebirth," Khan said. "An organization and its brand values must stand for something separate from the team performance. We are forging a new identity."
The team described the new brand identity as "inspired in equal parts by the bold vision and promise of a new generation for the club, the passion Jaguars fans have for their team and the exceptional relationship the Jaguars have shared with Jacksonville for the past 18 NFL seasons."
"A brand platform like this is important for a sports franchise," Khan said. "Many players and coaches will represent the team and city over time. You want them to respect the philosophy that was in place before they arrived and that will be in place after they leave. You want your fans to share the same vision. Nothing brings a sports team to life like a team logo."
The rebranding will take place immediately, with what the team called "a comprehensive rebranding effort tailored to reflect three distinct and powerful attributes that will describe and guide the Jaguars on and off the field – proud, bold and committed."
The new primary logo stays true to the team's traditional colors, while featuring a "fiercer" Jaguar, "amplifying the powerful characteristics of the cat." The secondary logo will include a shield featuring the new logo underneath a bold graphic treatment of the nickname "Jags," meant to pay homage to the military roots of Jacksonville and celebrate the fan-inspired "Jags" nickname.
The new logos are the result of several months of collaboration with the NFL, incorporating specific insight from Jaguars fans in 2012 and in recent years.
"We think we found something that should resonate," Lamping said.
The 2013 offseason has been about change, from the hiring of Caldwell to the hiring a week later of Bradley. And Tuesday afternoon's announcement, Khan said, was one more in a positive, new direction. Lamping agreed.
"Last season is last season," Lamping said. "We've put it in the past. We did not want to wait one day to get started on 2013."
In addition to the logo, news conference highlights included:
*The unveiling of the 2013 ticket package, in which 80 percent of the tickets will remain "flat," with three percent decreasing and 17 percent increasing. The average per-game season-ticket price will increase two percent, the team announced. The seats increasing in price are in high-demand sections of the stadium, with about half under existing multi-year contracts that allow for annual ticket price increases at the club's discretion. Under the new pricing plan, 80 percent of the seats remain under $70 with 20 percent above $80. The league average ticket price is $78.38.
*The announcement that the team is making available close to 1,700 season tickets priced at $35 a game, doubling the amount of tickets at that price. The additional $35 seats will be located at mid-field on the east side of the stadium in an area that will be known as the "Diehards' Den." Current season-ticket holders in that price category will have priority to relocate within the Den, if they wish. In all, the Jaguars will offer 3,200 seats at $35 a game for season ticket holders.
•The announcement that the Jaguars had the lowest Fan Cost Index in 2012 as reported by the industry newsletter "Team Marketing Report." The report compares the cost to attend an NFL game for a family of four on the basis of average ticket price, food, drinks, souvenirs and parking. In 2012 it was 23 percent less expensive to attend a Jaguars game compared to the NFL average, with a similar ranking expected in 2013.
*The announcement of a six-event series of "fan forums," to be held on the Southside (Sheraton Hotel, February 25), Orange Park (Thrasher Horn Conference Center, February 26), St. Augustine (River House, February 27), downtown Jacksonville (EverBank Field, March 5), Northside (Jacksonville Airport Hotel, March 6) and Jacksonville Beach (Casa Marina, March 12).
*The announcement that the Jaguars hope to introduce two new premium ticket products next season – Upper Loge Boxes and Field Seats. Both will feature a blend of access, hospitality and amenities that will provide a unique experience for businesses and fans alike.
*The team also announced that it continues to explore the possibility of new scoreboards which will provide enhanced video capabilities and the ability to offer significantly greater amounts of information demanded by fans today. Khan said the hope is to have the boards be the best, most-impactful in the NFL, and to have the boards in place by 2014.
*The announcement that although the game in London has been declared a sellout, ticket and travel packages remain available through the ticket office. The game will benefit the team financially because of the stadium's greater seating capacity and because ticket prices are 44 percent higher than in Jacksonville. The team will soon hire a full-time Jaguars sales executive in London to lead sponsorship sales in the United Kingdom. The Jaguars will be the first franchise in league history to sell and share in local market sponsorship dollars in the United Kingdom.